To not allow my baby son to stay overnight at his father's new 'love nest'?

(520 Posts)
dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 13:58:52

I'll try to keep this brief.

We'd been together for 2 years when I fell pregnant. It was unplanned although we had discussed having a baby and were not using contraception.

He finished our relationship when I told him I was pregnant, continued to live with me for the next 6 months (disclaimer: I was heartbroken, hormonal and really thought it was the shock and that he'd get over it once the baby arrived so stupidly allowed this instead of kicking his arse out).

However he moved back to his mum's at the end of the college term (he's a 'mature' student), but attended the birth of our child.

When our baby was 5 weeks old, I found out that he was in a relationship with a fellow college student (she's married with a child)
I was so angry as I'd had previous concerns re their friendship and her inappropriateness and his apparent lack of boundaries.

I'm posting this here, as they have now moved in together - she moved straight out from her place with her husband, straight into a house they are now renting together, and they are both on easy street whilst I struggle as a lone parent.

Our DS is only 4 months old.

I'm trying really hard to maintain dignity (mostly failing!) but my ex is now wanting to see our baby at his place and take him overnight!

The thought of that woman and him playing happy families with my DS makes me feel ill TBH, so I have said he can see him when he likes (when mutually convenient) but only at my place.
Obviously he is unhappy about this.

I am trying to constantly remember that it's my son's relationship with his dad, and not my issues with him that is important, but it's just so damn hard at the moment!

I need some clarity please! Please mums net jury, AIBU?

rubyslippers Mon 28-Jan-13 14:00:38


absolutely not a chance it should happen right now

a 4 month old needs to be with his mum

he can see him in the daytime - no need for an overnighter

YABU. Sorry. I do mean that kindly.

He is a fuckwit. But he is as entitled to move on as you are and see his son aswell.

I say that as the mother of a child who spends two nights a week with her dad and his partner. Its really hard. But still.

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 14:04:14

I wouldn't have done at that age simply because I was still breastfeeding so it would have been impossible. I do think it's a bit young. I thought contact was supposed to be for the child's benefit, not the parents. Can't think what benefit it would be to a 4 month old tbh. Sorry you're having such a tough time. I don't think you're BU.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 14:07:20

Thanks for your prompt replies!
Ruby, do you think I should let him take him there during the day? He's a good dad but I don't know this woman from Adam, and what I do know I don't like.
And wannabe, can I ask how old your child is and if it gets easier?

WhateverTrevor Mon 28-Jan-13 14:10:05

You are understandably angry and bitter but it is unfair to make your child suffer because of this.
I think at 4 months an overnight stay with his parent is fine (unless your breastfeeding )
He needs to see his father regularly so they have a relationship.
When your son is older and he asks why he never sees his father and its because you wouldn't let him then he'll have every right to be angry.

SamSmalaidh Mon 28-Jan-13 14:11:24

I'd say a 4 month old is too young - no judge would order overnight contact at that age. Little and often is better for contact at that age - so maybe 1-2 hours at a time, 3 times a week? Offer to build the time up slowly, so maybe whole days by 12 months, overnights by 2 years etc.

greenfolder Mon 28-Jan-13 14:11:54

Massive disclaimer:not been in your situation

but- surely if he is his dad, he is entitled to take him where he likes when he has him-to his home would seem preferable to wandering the streets? Re overnights, it does seem young but part of me thinks that if he gets used to it now, it will be less difficult for your ds in the long term?

Trills Mon 28-Jan-13 14:13:14

YABU to use the word lovenest.

DD1 is 4 now but it has been this way since she was 6 months. It gets easier in the sense that I just had to get on with it.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 14:14:55

WhateverTrevor: I am not denying my ex access to his son at all. He can see him whenever he likes. Please re-read my post.
And I really think that his father will be the one explaining how he moved in with his OW and her child when he was only 16 weeks old!

Over nights by two years?

Instead of making it a part of normal life and ultimately easier on the child? Really?

Tryharder Mon 28-Jan-13 14:16:46

YANBU. We are talking about a 4 month old baby not a 14 year old. There is no court in the world who would insist that a 4 month old baby should spend nights away from its mum or prime carer. The thought of my DCs at this age spending the night away from me makes my blood run cold.

Your XP can see his child for short periods of time which in the future can build upto overnight stays and weekends/holidays as appropriate.

scoobydooagain Mon 28-Jan-13 14:17:04

He is young for overnights but it will benefit you and your son in the future for him to have a close relationship with his father. I would reconsider his dad only having contact at yours, that won't allow you to "get over" your ex and also will not give you a break which as a single parent you will need.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 14:17:09


If you're not breastfeeding, he should be allowed access to his child overnight especially as you say he's a good Dad.

Mumsyblouse Mon 28-Jan-13 14:18:08

During his dad's contact, you can't say who will be there unless you think they are a risk in some way, if you went to court then contact would be contact and you couldn't limit it just at your house/contact centre without justification.

I also think, if you can get past the annoyance, that in the long run, it could be a massive advantage for you if his dad is interested, proactive and takes him for a day or so at a time. You might be able to work, certainly able to rest, if you can set up a stable pattern it would be great all round, not just for his dad.

The overnight thing is a bit different as your baby is so young, but again, in the longer term, is there really any reason why this shouldn't happen? What if you get a new boyfriend, the dad won't be able to veto it or control who comes into your house.

MariusEarlobe Mon 28-Jan-13 14:19:02

I don't think courts advice overnight for children under one do they?

Having a baby with someone does not mean you have to stay with that person. So your son will be entitled to be angry at you if you prevent their relationship developing. Regardless of what his father has done.

Your son will measure his fathers worth on how he treats HIM over years. Not just how he treated you at the start.

WhatsTheBuzz Mon 28-Jan-13 14:21:46

I think it's nonsense to suggest that, at 4mo, the baby will suffer as a result of not staying with his dad (who split up with his mother because she was pregnant? Or was that just coincidence?)overnight, assuming you, OP, have been main caregiver so far... what's wrong with contact during the day? yanbu

deleted203 Mon 28-Jan-13 14:22:58

A difficult one. I think you have to allow your ex to take DS out in the daytime (and presumably to his place if he wishes) but I think he is too young for overnight stays. Is he even sleeping through the night yet?

shesariver Mon 28-Jan-13 14:26:47

frantic Can't think what benefit it would be to a 4 month old tbh

What about the benefit of having a relationship with his Dad - isnt that a benefit?!

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 14:27:11

Thanks again for all your replies. The differing opinions are interesting and thought provoking. I do realise that I am going to have to suck this up at some point, but even his family agree that he has acted in haste with regard to putting himself and his relationship with her above the needs of his child.
Our baby is just so young, I care for him all of the time bar the few hours his dad comes round to see him.
It just seems too much too soon that's all

MustafaCake Mon 28-Jan-13 14:27:17

I would not allow such a young baby to stay overnight. It is too long away from the primary carer (mother). There is no reason why Dad can't take baby out for a few hours, to the park or something like that.

And in the long term, baby should stay overnight, once time spent with his Dad has been built up.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 14:27:28

I think it's nonsense to suggest that, at 4mo, the baby will suffer as a result of not staying with his dad

I agree

But equally I think it's nonsense to suggest the baby will suffer as a result of staying with his Dad.

MoominmammasHandbag Mon 28-Jan-13 14:27:37

He is tiny, he should be with you, his mother.

But how can your baby be unplanned if you weren't using contraception? What did you think would happed?

Shelby2010 Mon 28-Jan-13 14:28:59

I don't think a baby that age would benefit from overnight stays, but you should allow ex to take him out or to his house for a few hours at a time.

YANBU to find it difficult tho.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 14:29:31

I wouldn't want my partner's 4mo baby sleeping over if I was in the new partner's shoes. What does she say?

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 14:30:00

How is he putting his relationship with her above the needs of his child if he wants access to his child?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean?

WhatsTheBuzz Mon 28-Jan-13 14:32:29

I suppose it depends on what he's like as a dad. I think contact during the day would be enough at that age.

Kendodd Mon 28-Jan-13 14:33:06

YABU (unless BFing)

It's his child as well, sorry.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 14:33:47

I think whatever age he goes for overnight stays with his father you are going to find it hard. But I think by allowing his dad that contact you are being the best parent you can be. It will give them a chance to bond, but your baby will always love you. Your exs girlfriend cannot replace you. But it will help you immensely if you do this especially when you start planning your future as they are not babies long.

myroomisatip Mon 28-Jan-13 14:34:30

I dont think YABU at all sad

He may have fathered your child but as for being a 'dad', he has hardly behaved like one.

IMO your baby is far too young to spend more than a couple of hours away from you. My child, if I were in your circumstances, would not be spending the night away from me until it was at least five years old. I dont care who thinks that is U!

Mosman Mon 28-Jan-13 14:34:35

Is his name on the birth certificate ?
Because if it is you would be able to do nothing at all if the ex decided not to bring the baby back after the over night visit, you'd have to go to court to regain residency.
On that basis alone I'd be saying no until you've built up an understanding with the ex about how this will work and have a court order around access.

Mosman Mon 28-Jan-13 14:35:48

Oh and is he paying maintenance ?

Would you allow him overnight contact if he was living alone?

I think if you start basing his access soley on his relationships then he will have every right down the line to start dictating who you can introduce your ds to and when and how.

In your shoes I would be very wary about 'putting my foot down' over access, its so much better if you arrange it between yourselves and not have a judge come up with an arrangement for you.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 14:36:50

And how old is her child? Does he/she live with her? Seems ridiculously swift of her to start setting up home with a new man. Most people would still be at the "meeting mummy's friend" stage by now, wouldn't they?

Silly woman.

And your ex sounds like a dick.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 14:39:52

Worra, it's complicated. He treated me like shit throughout my pregnancy, made no effort to help me look for a new place to live (I moved house when I was 8 months pregnant) and lied to me for a long time. I didn't do anything wrong and really tried to make it work. So yes, I do harbour resentment and I do consider that if they'd lived apart for a while as would be healthy given her history and him being a new father it would have been better. He could have seen his son on his own patch.
I'll await a flaming.
To the poster who asked about us not using contraception: I'm 44. I never thought I'd get pregnant, but we'd discussed that if I did we'd keep the baby.

Chumpster Mon 28-Jan-13 14:40:12

I'd feel the same way as you, but you're right, you will have to allow overnight stays at some point (through gritted teeth) for the benefit of their relationship. But four months seems a bit young for baby to be away from main caregiver. During the day for time being.

Sallyingforth Mon 28-Jan-13 14:42:03

It was unplanned although we had discussed having a baby and were not using contraception.
If you were having sex without contraception then you were both planning to have a child. That's how it happens.

and they are both on easy street whilst I struggle as a lone parent.
He is legally required to support his child. If he is on 'easy street' then he can afford to do so. Have you come to a financial arrangement with him?

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 14:43:15

I restrained myself from having a go about the contraception thing, but see that you're 44 so I'll let you off grin

Now, for my questions upthread... how old is her child? Does she want your baby overnight already? Does her child live with them?

KellyElly Mon 28-Jan-13 14:46:31

Your baby is very tiny and I think it's completely reasonable to not want him to do overnights with his dad at this age. I think you need to let go of the bitterness (even though you are fully entitled to feel it) for your own sanity so when he is a bit bigger and has over night visits with his dad you will be in a better place about it.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 14:47:28

YANBU at all. You know what your baby is like, and if you don't think he'd be happy staying overnight or alone yet, then he doesn't do it, simple as that.

My DD is 6 months, and no way would she go alone overnight, with anyone yet. She is very clingy, but we have tried "giving it time" to let her calm down, and it doesn't work yet, she just screams and screams-the longest time we tried was 40 minutes without a break, she was shaking by the time I took her back and took a good 10 minutes to stop wimpering, but she instantly stopped crying so there was nothing wrong other than her being scared about being away for too long.

IMO this was entirely for her fathers benefit of "playing daddy" for an hour or 2 when he feels like it, and not at all in her best interest.
Obviously you know what your son is like, and it's possible that he is ok with his dad, and ok being left, but you have to make that decision. Also, at this early stage, you need to feel ok with arrangements to an reasonable extent too. Obviously he needs a relationship with his dad, and he needs to see him regularly, but it's not going to do your son any good to have a mum who is feeling depressed/anxious by going over the top to achieve this too soon.

Also, no court would order overnights under 1 year, the longest you would have to leave him is 2-3 hours, gradually building up to this so your son is happy about it.

The recommended visits under 1 is 1-2 hours 2-3 times a week. And if you are breastfeeding this needs to be within a few minutes of you so you are available to feed on demand.

You are not going to destroy his father son relationship by waiting until he is happy to be away from you, if anything you will be strengthening it as long as he is allowed regular contact at yours or at a neutral place eg. soft play or a cafe. I can't imagine much worse than taking a baby away from its primary career before it's ready, and having it scream for hours at me being clearly unhappy. All that will do is build anxiety about the person taking the baby away, in this case the dad. I don't see why any dad would want to do this if they care about the baby.

aderynlas Mon 28-Jan-13 14:48:28

I think your son is alittle young for overnight stays op, could you compromise and let him go to his dads for a visit in the day. Sorry for the way this has turned out but congratulations and enjoy your new baby.

MoominmammasHandbag Mon 28-Jan-13 14:48:38

Apologies Dolly for the dig about contraception, at 44 I probably wouldn't have used contraception either.
Stick to your guns though and make sure he contributes financially.

BonaDea Mon 28-Jan-13 14:51:00

OP- what a horrible situation, I really feel for you. I hope he is doing the decent thing and helping properly financially.

I think for the time being YANBU. 4 months is far too young. You are doing the right thing by allowing contact, but overnight seems OTT.

However, the problem is that 'excuse' will only last so long. So, eventually you will have to let your son stay over with ex and the demon bitch from hell. Maybe you need to start mentally preparing yourself.

KellyElly Mon 28-Jan-13 14:51:26

Also what's with the judgy contraception (or lack of) comments. The child is here in the world so rehashing that is pretty irrelevant to over night visits. The only reasons I can think of that you would want to berate the OP for the lack of contraception is that you are a) a judgemental arsehole or b) Jeremy Kyle.

Wowee - Lucky him that you are even considering it.
I've been with other half for a few years now and his DexW won't let the kids stay at ours even now.
I've never met them!!
I do think as well that 4 months is too young to stay away from prime carer.
As others have asked, is he paying maintenance?
I think you need to make sure that his new relationship is going to stand the test of time before your new son is introduced to someone new who may just leave and cause more heartbreak. Good luck and congrats on your new baby!

aufaniae Mon 28-Jan-13 14:55:59

4 months is too young for overnight visits IMO.

You can't explain to a child that young when they're going to see their mum againm it could be very distressing for the child. It's something you would need ot build up to over time IMO.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 14:56:03

So yes, I do harbour resentment and I do consider that if they'd lived apart for a while as would be healthy given her history and him being a new father it would have been better. He could have seen his son on his own patch

I understand what you're saying (truly I do) but none of that has anything to do with this 'good Dad' (your words) taking care of his son overnight.

aufaniae Mon 28-Jan-13 14:57:51

"But equally I think it's nonsense to suggest the baby will suffer as a result of staying with his Dad."

I think a child that young could well suffer by being away from its mum for long periods of time before s/he is ready.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 14:58:03

Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom! I'm going to take some time to read them all properly - (I'm amazed at the quick responses) then I'll be back to reply to questions. Little person nearby is getting fractious and needs a feed. :-)
Thanks again

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 14:59:25

I think what some people are forgetting here, is that this isn't a dad who had been with baby from the start and lived with him to build a trusting relationship then seperated, this is a baby who lives with mum, and see's his father at visits. To him this person is equivalent to anyone else who visits mum regularly.

He can't understand the reasoning "this is daddy, who is equal to mummy, so you will stay with him tonight and see mum again tomorrow", all he will think is where has mum gone, why isn't she answering my cries, why has she left me in this strange place and who are these people. Which would understandably be very scary for a small baby.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 15:00:31

hellsbells, lucky?

Would you consider yourself lucky to have your own child overnight if it lived with the other parent?

I wouldn't see it as 'luck', I'd see it as my right as the baby's parent.

If you've been with your OH for a few years and haven't met his kids, surely that says more about him not being bothered enough to make sure he rightfully has contact with them?

cory Mon 28-Jan-13 15:02:36

I think there is a range of issues that you need to separate out from one another:

Your own feeling of hurt and (quite natural) desire to punish your ex because you have been badly treated - This is very understandable but must not get mixed up with your baby's relationships; he is not an instrument to ram your ex with.

*Possibly, your feelings of moral indignation over the "love nest"*- again, this is only relevant insofar as it actually affects your baby.

*Your feelings that a 4yo baby should not be separated from his mother*- this is a lot more relevant than any of the above, because it is actually about the baby. There are various factors to think about here:

How close to his dad is your baby? Most posters will try to judge this from their own family situation- for my dc, spending the night with their dad would not have led to any separation anxiety because they were so close from the moment of birth, for others the dad is virtually a stranger. So how is it for your baby?

* The practicalities*- are you breastfeeding? if so, there is a stronger argument for waiting.

*the timeline*- if not now, when do you think would be a good time? could you discuss this with your ex?

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:02:48

I can't see what the benefit would be for a 4 month old baby because he will have no concept of him being his "father" or of OP being his "mother". What he will have, given the history of his little life so far. is a concept of OP being "safety". At 4 months old what that little one needs is routine, because routine builds a feeling of security. imo.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 15:03:28

Dear lord Hop how on earth to babies manage going to their grandparents for overnight stays?

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:03:45

Worra, as a babies parent you have no rights. The baby has rights to be happy and secure while building a relationship with both parents.

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:04:29

Sorry, hopskip cross posted.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:05:43

YABU, unless you are bfing there is no valid reason why he could not stay with his father overnight

and all this crap about hes too young, is a load of bollocks, he wont be traumatised or scared for life by staying one night away from you with his other parent hmm

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:06:08

Personally, I never left my DC with grandparents or anyone else until they were old enough to understand that I would be back in the morning. confused

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 15:06:59

Exactly Hop which is why I don't think the OP has a right to deny the baby an overnight stay with his Dad.

Or at least a couple of attempts to see how it goes.

For all we know, the OP might be putting him in all day nursery soon to go back to work...which surely isn't that different in terms of 'wondering where Mum has gone'?

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:07:18

Worra I am assuming most mums judge if the baby knows the grandparents well enough yet, and how secure the baby is being left.
As I said only the mum knows her baby, and what he will be happy with.
Not all babies are the same unfortunately, so it isn't as simple as "let's hand the baby over for the night regardless of how he/she reacts as they are "X" age." You need to wait for the baby to be ready.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 15:08:23

Nor me frantic but every day 1000's of parents have to do just that when it comes to CMs and Nurseries or they cant' make a living.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 15:10:33

How will she know the baby's ready without trying Hop?

Leaving the baby overnight with his 'good Dad' isn't going to cause any kind of trauma believe me.

And in the unlikely event the Dad can't cope, I'm quite sure he'll bring him home and try again in a few months.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:11:27

babies dont suffer from being away from mum or dad for a night, those who never leave them with family so they can have a night off, well more fool you

they wont miss you as much as you will miss them, all they care about is when the next feed is coming at that age, use him too your advantage, have a night off and enjoy it while you can, before the toddler seperation anxiety sets in

WhatsTheBuzz Mon 28-Jan-13 15:12:05

I would imagine OP finds it hard to trust her ex for various reasons...

irishkitkat Mon 28-Jan-13 15:15:20

My DH's then wife left him for an OM when his DS was 8 weeks old. She initially t

NellyBluth Mon 28-Jan-13 15:15:43

Hop, that's a bit of a generalisation, some babies are perfectly happy to stay overnight with another caregiver at a young age. My baby stayed overnight with my parents from about 4mo and was absolutely fine - but I don't use that to generalise that all babies will be fine overnight.

OP (with another disclaimer that I haven't been in your situation) I can understand how this must be very hard on you, and 4mo is very little if you don't want to be apart from him, and if you don't feel he is ready for an overnight stay.

However it sounds as though your ex wants to be part of his son's life and the fact that he would like him overnight is surely a good thing? I think thinking of his new flat as a 'love nest' isn't very helpful and you should maybe try to separate your feelings towards your ex as an 'ex', and as your DS's dad.

If you don't want your son to stay over now that's absolutely your call. However, as other posters have said, perhaps you could come up with a plan and a timeline to gradually build up contact between your son and his dad, letting him spend an hour alone, two hours alone etc (as and when bf allows it) with a final aim of overnight stays at 1 or 18 months or whatever age you feel comfortable with.

Your ex sounds like he wants to be a father. It must be so hard to forgive him right not, but focus on the fact that he wants to be part of his son's life.

thegreylady Mon 28-Jan-13 15:19:07

I think 12 months is early enough and only then if the father has sustained regular contact with the baby. For now I think one day at a weekend and maybe an additional afternoon/evening is enough.

irishkitkat Mon 28-Jan-13 15:19:38

Posted to soon! She initially took the DC with her and my DH would have been heartbroken had he been denied over nights because his DS was so young. As it was the OM didn't want the DC full time so they ended up living with by DH by the time his DS was 4 months old and, yes, there was no question of the DC being denied over nights with their DM. As it is my younger DSS has dealt with it all much better than his elder DB who was 6 when his parents separated.

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:09

I admit I only have my own experience to go on. First child, ex h was living at home full time and it didn't really seem to matter which of us resettled her when she occasionally woke at night. In fact, he often went to her first as we were trying to discourage her from feeding at night and I was breastfeeding and I would only take over if it became apparent that she really was hungry, which wasn't often. By the time DS came along ex h was working away from home during the week and only home at weekends. If he tried to settle DS he would only scream the louder and work himself into a state from which it was difficult for me to resettle him. Same happened a couple of years later with DD2. Would be awful imo if baby got that distressed and mum wasn't there for him. I don't think it's worth risking as it won't hurt the lo not to be overnight with dad at this age.

jellybeans Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:25

YANBU. Too young for overnights unless you feel 100% happy. I totally agree Dads should have rights (MIL didn't let DH see his dad at all and I have seen the effects) but for newborns they often need to be with mum most of the time, it just isn't politically correct to say that anymore..Of course when the child is older more time can be spent with Dad. I sympathize as the whole situation must be very tough.

Mosman Mon 28-Jan-13 15:22:12

I would want to know that this man plans to stick around, to know he is capable and know that is OW is going to be a long term part of the child's life before entering into any sort of visitation no matter how old the DC and I'm sorry those who say they would have been perfectly willing 4 months after the birth of their PFB handing it over to somebody they have misgivings about are either lying or have very short memories.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:08

Nelly that's why I said only the OP know's what her baby is like. Though I don't know many babies that are happy away from their primary career for long periods of time at that age. Admittedly I know a couple who will go to anyone full of smiles, but unless OP is very lucky then I'm assuming her son isn't like this (OP please correct me if he is, and then feel free to ignore my posts)

aufaniae Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:22

"I'd see it as my right as the baby's parent."

That's putting the wishes of the parent before the needs of the child.

I'm pretty sure my son would have been very distressed if I'd left him overnight with a stranger (to him) at 4 months.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:54

How can you not have been having sex, deciding not to use contraception, but have an unplanned baby? Sorry, but I don't understand.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 28-Jan-13 15:24:56

Actually, don't go there. Don't want to cause any disagreements.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 15:26:28

So all these babies who are handed over to CMs and Nurseries while Mum rushes off to work are being damaged? confused

2wwmadness Mon 28-Jan-13 15:27:05

I'm in your situation. He won't go. I don't know her. The baby is to small. Untill you have been through it you can't understand.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 15:28:33

That's putting the wishes of the parent before the needs of the child

No, insisting the baby stay over when the baby clearly hates it and gets distressed would be putting the wishes of the parent before the needs of the child.

But I feel the parent as a right to at least try.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:29:43

i was glad to hand my 4 month old over for a nights rest, i dont have a short memory neither do i tell lies smile

mind you i did go back to work FT after 10 weeks, and my job called for me to travel sometimes too so once spent 5 days away and i left my ds2 in the capable hands of his daddy and grandma shock

I think 4 months is too young for overnight stays with a person he has only seen a few hours now and then.

Nobody knows if he is a "good dad" or not. So far, there is no evidence to suggest this. All we know is that he left op when she got pregnant, and has moved in with an OW that he started a relationship with before leaving OP, and who also was married at the time. I am not sure that "Jeremy Kyle style dad" necessarily equals "good dad".

Mosman Mon 28-Jan-13 15:31:53

I take it that you knew the daddy and grandmas capabilities though VT before you left the DC ?

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 15:31:56

Worra, over night is different, surely?

Regular overnighters with GPs or one trusted parent is one thing - we're talking here about some relative randomer (the new partner).

Given time, as little as six months maybe, then yes. But not so soon.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:32:15

Worra From working at a nursery, no they are not damaged, but if they are too young or not ready to be away from their parent(s) yet, they gain nothing from the experience. They will just cry, refuse to eat, and not engage in activities.

We have had a couple of babies at our nursery who didn't settle for months on end. It's horrible seeing any baby or child this distressed, never mind your own baby.

And generally with the babies/toddlers who weren't ready or settling, the parents would find this had a negative effect on them waking during nights, acting up and being more clingy in general etc. So no they aren't "damaged" but it's not a positive effect on them.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:32:26

nobody knows if a mother is a 'good mum' or not, yet the hospital staff let us take our babies home after a few hours stay shock

fromparistoberlin Mon 28-Jan-13 15:33:12

baby too young

keep things clean and simple, offer acess and but say no overnighters until baby is older


VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:33:48

'I take it that you knew the daddy and grandmas capabilities though VT before you left the DC ?'

only because i gave them the chance in the first place

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:33:50

Worra I think "damaged" is too strong a word to use but, from my, admittedly limited, study of child development, very young babies need one or two "significant" adults to identify with in order to feel safe and secure. This can be parents, a parent and a CM, a parent and a grandparent/auntie/uncle, a grandparent and a CM, foster parents etc, etc. But these should be people they have regular, ideally daily, contact with. Not a parent they only spend an overnight with once a week.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 15:36:43

Your ds should see his father but overnights at 4 months are unnecessary and generally unreasonable.
Doesn't matter whether or not you are bf.

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 28-Jan-13 15:37:22

I feel your pain. I wish people would realise that it is human to feel upset, anger, hate and also feel like you don't want your child to go and stay with 2 vile people who gave you no thought when you were pregnant!. Not only have you had to deal with having a child at a relatively late age and not being at all supported by the father of said child you are now expected to hand DC over with a smile on your face to the woman your Ex was shagging behind your back. Sorry for all those spouting on that you must no you don't really.

It takes time to get over that kind of behaviour and you are not being given that time. You need the time for the pain to subside and get your head around the whole situation before you can move on and find it less painful to hand your DC overnight. Your DS at 18 won't care that at 4 months old he never slept at his dad's he is not even going to remember it. However, the stress of you being forced to do it will upset you and therefore your DS.

Your DS has the rest of his life to form a decent relationship with his dad and these few months won't matter much as long as he seems him regularly and often overnights will not matter. What will matter is you being shown some respect by DC's father and OW that right now you need time to adjust and therefore have less stressful life for you right now.

Personally I would say no to the overnights and suggest a few hours 3 times a week. I know that right now you don't want to leave your baby alone with him but I think that is what you need to back down on and say he can take DC away for those few hours. See him as a babysitter that is allowing you to have a few hours break until you can get your head around the situation but aim for letting him have him longer bit by bit until it is overnight.

Take care of yourself and tell anyone to fuck off who says you should get on with it and accept it and move on. Take your time and allow yourself time to get over this terrible, terrible hurt.

Mosman Mon 28-Jan-13 15:37:28

Oh pull the other one VT your own mother and the man you've been happily living with and intend to carry on living with is a million miles away from this scenario and you know it.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:38:37

Vinegar A mum taking a baby home from hospital is the only person that baby has ever known. Equally a dad taking a baby home from hospital would be.

It is completely different to a 4 month old, with a routine and primary carer(s) who he has bonded with (in this case his mum). To then change all this with no way of explaining to the baby why, is going to be confusing at the very least, and most likely very distressing.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:38:42

'Oh pull the other one VT your own mother and the man you've been happily living with and intend to carry on living with is a million miles away from this scenario and you know it. '

i never lived with my ex, only new him for a short while before i fell pg, and it was his mother not mine smile

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 15:38:50

I agree with frantic's last post.

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 28-Jan-13 15:38:58

Sorry not sure that makes sense but DS's singing while having a poo is distracting me!

Floralnomad Mon 28-Jan-13 15:39:09

Do we actually know if this parent wants 50% custody of this baby , maybe he doesn't just want him 1 night a week , as the parent does he not have this right? If the baby is being BF obviously that would be an issue but the OP has not said anything about that ( I think) despite other people mentioning it . I've never been in this position thankfully ,but surely we should at least credit this dad with wanting to build a relationship with his child . TBH both parents sound a little feckless i.e no contraception ,rushing into another relationship .

Floralnomad Mon 28-Jan-13 15:41:08

Sorry forgot to say , would the OP be as bothered if there was not another woman involved and it was the dad asking to have the baby overnight at his mothers for example.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 15:41:34

iwantanafternoonnap well put.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:41:45

dont assume you know everything about someone from a few posts

the op is resentful, we know nothing about her or her ex, other than he left her then started a new relationship, but the man still has a right to access to his son, regardless of her fbitterness towards him

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 15:44:09

I don't give a stuff if the OP is breastfeeding tbh.

This man has decided he'd like to start playing daddies after a less than stellar performance thus far - well that's great and the relationship needs to be allowed to develop. But he has to prove himself now before he is allowed to bring his son to his new home for overnighters, as does his new partner (with whom he's been for the blink of an eye yet has moved in with).

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 15:45:58

floralnomad she may not be (perhaps I should wait for her to answer) but overnight stays at such a young age will inevitably involve a degrees of attachment to this OW. As a mother, I'd remove my own skin with a hot ladle before i'd be ok with that.

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 28-Jan-13 15:46:18

Yes and the mother of that child needs to be shown some respect about how bloody hurtful it is to have been cheated on while pregnant. Starting a relationship behind someones back and leaving their partner while pregnant is totally different situation than splitting up and then starting a new relationship now isn't it?? Not so much hurt, pain and disrespect when people have split up amicably. Quite frankly I think the OP's Ex needs to suck it up for a while.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 15:49:37

vinegartits I'm not sure anyone is saying that this child shouldn't see his father. The issue is around overnight stays with his father and another woman.

ballinacup Mon 28-Jan-13 15:49:38

Let him have your DS overnight. Your DS will scream from the unfamiliar sights/sounds/smells/people in the unfamiliar house. No one, including the OW and her DC, will get any sleep.

Suggest, when you pick DS up from his bleary eyed father, that he waits until your DS knows him a little bit better before having him overnight again.

Personally, I think 4mo is far too young to take a baby away from his primary carer overnight. My DS2 wasn't breastfed, but would only take a bottle from me until he was nearly 8mo, it's not just EBF babies that need their mother.

getoffthecoffeetable Mon 28-Jan-13 15:50:24

I have to agree that baby is way too young to be staying away from mother overnight.
It's a terrible situation that you're in OP and I feel for you.
I don't think DS was out of my sight for longer than an hour at a time until he was 8 months old.
I agree that your ex can bond in the daytime instead. I personally can't see what bonding he thinks he'll be doing at night anyway. Staying overnight away from home at random intervals would be really unsettling for a baby and I doubt your ex would follow any routine that you had established either.

Goldmandra Mon 28-Jan-13 15:51:24

I don't know what the courts generally order in this sort of situation but I'm sure it would be quite easy to find out from a reliable source such as a solicitor.

Lots of babies go to stay with grandparents overnight once a week from this age and some stay with childminders too. It doesn't harm them if they are able to build a secure relationship with those caring for them.

You are understandably upset by your ex's actions. I wouldn't want them playing happy families with my baby either. However your feelings about the ex, his new DP and their domestic arrangements are irrelevant unless you can show that your baby is at risk with them.

If you don't allow a reasonable amount of contact you are risking being taken to court and contact arrangements being ordered. Is there a chance you could then be ordered to allow the baby to stay with your ex for whole weekends, go on holiday with them etc? You need to find out.

I know it is hard on you as a new mum but your feelings are not taken into account. The needs and long term welfare of your baby are paramount in the eyes of a court and you may not agree with how they think those can best be met.

You need to get some good legal advice.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:53:09

she never said he started a relationship behind her back, read the op

he attended the birth, and im assuming has had contact since? but now that he has started a new relationship op is not happy, bitter and resentful that hes moved on

telling him that he can only have contact at her house is trying to control him, hes not a crimal who needs supervised contact, why should he look after his child in his own home be it an hour or a whole night

maddening Mon 28-Jan-13 15:53:17

So how on earth is a 4mth old gaining from staying without his main carer for a night - at that age it's all about feeling secure - being taken to a strange house without his mum (being that she is his main carer, security and world) and completely unsettled.

This is only for the benefit of the father and he is not the important one here.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:53:28


Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 15:54:42

I understand that the child's rights trump those of the parents but you aren't seriously all arguing that only a mother is entitled to raise a baby ? Maybe the baby won't appreciate the fact that his father wants him in his life but surely the child/adult that they'll grow into will appreciate that his dad cared enough to want such an active part in his life.

I don't buy this idea that women are naturally the better parent every time. Not wanting your child to stay with his father overnight is a selfish desire no matter how you dress it up. Maybe if men were given the opportunity to parent babies then we'd have a better chance at achieving equality. He may well turn out to be a fantastic father - why not give him the chance ? The more involved he is now, the better. He'll know his child, the same way the mother does - you can't have it both ways in arguing that he doesn't know his needs, his wants, his desires if you don't give him the chance to learn them. Babies don't NEED their biological mothers - they need carers who will care for them.

Put the understandable hurt and anger you have towards him to one side and do what's right for your child.

If the father turns out to be an idiot about it, rethink it.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 15:56:33

I assume he started with the other woman whilst he was cocklodging at the OP's. He might have been officially single but it's a shitty thing to do. Then for them to shack up together so soon is a bit hmm

I'll give the new woman the benefit of the doubt and assume it was for financial reasons but even so, would you move in with a new man so quickly - especially if you had a child? It's not sounding very stable, basically.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 15:57:14

YABVU. Presumably you thought your ex was a suitable and responsible enough to raise a child when you were with him, I don't see how this changes just because he is no longer with you, regardless of the reasons. TBH you are coming across as rather bitter (which you may have every right to feel) but your bitterness should play no part in your child and their father's relationship. Mothers are no more special than fathers, and unless you are breastfeeding there is no justifiable reason for your child not to stay at their fathers overnight. I dont buy into the 'child is not ready'. How could anyone possible know this unless they had tried? Actually you sound really controlling, only allowing him access at your place?

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:59:35

Gold Courts wouldn't give overnights until at least 1. He would have to show commitment to gradually building a relationship first, and any concerns OP has about DS's care alone with him would be taken into account.
I know people who courts haven't ordered overnights for until 2-3 years old, due to the NRP not seeing the child often enough/flaking out on visits and showing themselves to be unreliable/irresponsible so on.

Floralnomad Mon 28-Jan-13 16:01:21

If this OW is going to be a constant presence in this child's upbringing and we don't know whether she will or won't surely he will form an attachment to her at some point . Obviously we are only hearing one side of this story and I'm sure the dad would tell us something completely different but surely this baby deserves to have both his parents and we have no reason to believe that the baby will be at risk of harm staying with his dad . FWIW what do all you people who think babies should be with mothers overnight think people who work nights do ? Also why are night times so different to days ?

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 16:03:56

I am sorry but I think yabu ... You need to put your feelings aside and let them have a relationship even if it hurts x

mummysmellsofsick Mon 28-Jan-13 16:06:22

YANBU. My baby would only have slept apart from me over my dead body at that age.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 16:08:11

*she never said he started a relationship behind her back, read the op

he attended the birth, and im assuming has had contact since? but now that he has started a new relationship op is not happy, bitter and resentful that hes moved on

telling him that he can only have contact at her house is trying to control him, hes not a crimal who needs supervised contact, why should he look after his child in his own home be it an hour or a whole night*

^ this

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 16:10:24

I understand that the child's rights trump those of the parents but you aren't seriously all arguing that only a mother is entitled to raise a baby ? Maybe the baby won't appreciate the fact that his father wants him in his life but surely the child/adult that they'll grow into will appreciate that his dad cared enough to want such an active part in his life.

I don't buy this idea that women are naturally the better parent every time. Not wanting your child to stay with his father overnight is a selfish desire no matter how you dress it up. Maybe if men were given the opportunity to parent babies then we'd have a better chance at achieving equality. He may well turn out to be a fantastic father - why not give him the chance ? The more involved he is now, the better. He'll know his child, the same way the mother does - you can't have it both ways in arguing that he doesn't know his needs, his wants, his desires if you don't give him the chance to learn them. Babies don't NEED their biological mothers - they need carers who will care for them.

Put the understandable hurt and anger you have towards him to one side and do what's right for your child.

^^ And this

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 16:21:04

Dreaming the second one you copy and pasted. Yes the child will appreciate it. Why force it on a baby that won't rather than waiting for a child who will? It's not in the babies interest.

Woman aren't automatically the better parent. If this baby had been cared for by the dad since birth, at 4 months he most likely wouldn't be ready to be away from the dad for long periods/overnight if he were the primary care giver. Same applies in this situation to the primary care giver.

He has the chance to get to know his son, and once he has, he will undoubtedly have him overnight. But he needs to put the effort in to get to know the baby, not just treat the him like some doll to have when he pleases with no regard for the babies sense of security.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 16:22:36

I get so fed up of reading on MN about all these men who were perfectly reasonable and appropriate men to have a child with........... until they split up that is. Then they become the devil men who cannot be trusted to spend a second alone with their baby unless supervised by the Mother in her home. Heaven's forbid he should try to build a relationship with his child from the day it is born; no there is plenty of years when the child is older to build a relationship with Dad hmm. Why is a child's relationship with its father so insignificant that it can be put on hold?! And don't give me all the nonsense about primary carer; perhaps if the Dad was allowed to spend any significant amount of time actually caring for his baby then he would become a significant carer too.

The OP has said that he is a good Dad - therefore he has proved himself and deserves the opportunity to build a solid relationship with his baby NOW not in a few months time.

OP, I can understand you feeling bitter/angry/jealous about the way your relationship turned out but please don't let this cloud your judgement about what should happen re: your son.

If you really can't stand the thought of overnight stays yet although I don't see anything wrong in them then talk to your Ex about it. Compromise - allow him to have baby for a few hours during the day at his house and build up to overnights.

hackmum Mon 28-Jan-13 16:22:36

YANBU. Astonished at anyone who says you are. At that age, babies really need to spend time with their primary carer, not overnights with anyone else. The thing that would really worry me is that you have no idea if your ex's new partner knows anything at all about how to look after a baby.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 16:33:34

Dreaming - at 4 months, a lot of mums aren't leaving babies overnight with their DH's, and thats when the baby see's them every day. I don't see why this changes just because the dad isn't in the house.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 16:34:40

thing that would really worry me is that you have no idea if your ex's new partner knows anything at all about how to look after a baby. What irresponsible scaremongering. (a) the ex partner already has a child so presumably she brought that child up and (b) irrespective if the new partner has children or not, if the ex trusts her with his child then the op has to respect his decision, unless she has knowledge that means leaving her with ex and partner would place her child at risk.

Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 16:39:18

How to look after a baby ? It's really not rocket science. Any competent human being should be capable of it.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 16:41:28

I would have left ds with dp overnight at that age, had the little blighter taken a bottle, but then he was around most of the time so not a relative strager to him.

We also have no idea what this other woman is like with babies - she might have had one of her own but I'd need to thrash out some ground rules first in case she was a staunch co-sleeper/controlled-crying fan/giver of gin to babies. If someone other than the father is going to take care of this baby then the OP needs to build a civilised relationship with that person and be able to trust them.

irishkitkat Mon 28-Jan-13 16:42:01

Even removing the overnights from the equation, the OP is not, from my reading of this, willing to allow the baby's DF to have any cOntact outside of her home. I think this is unreasonable. The best case scenario for this child, at this stage, is that he will grow up with two loving, involved, competent parents and feel equally at home with both parents but how is the DF supposed to acheive any level of competency if he is only allowed supervised access in the OPs home. I agree over nights should only occur at the end of the bonding process but by this stage the process should be well underway and the child should be allowed to visit with his DF at his home.

NellyBluth Mon 28-Jan-13 16:42:40

Dreaming - YYY to Why is a child's relationship with its father so insignificant that it can be put on hold. I notice that a lot too. I don't think it is exactly relevant in this case, but I do notice it a lot and it makes me very sad.

But then I also find it sad that there are a lot of mums for whom Hop's comment about not leaving the baby alone with their DH sad too. Bf aside, which of course makes it complicated, dads are just as capable of looking after a young baby as a mum is. But there is this sort of unspoken belief that because the woman carried the baby for 9 months, she's somehow a better parent than the dad is. Obviously if a mum doesn't feel ready to be apart from her baby, that's one thing, and I know most mums don't feel ready when their babies are so young - but if it is purely down to not trusting their DH with the baby, that seems so unhealthy to me.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 16:43:11

Titty she has no knowledge of this woman, thats the problem. All she knows is of her dubious decision to bring her DC to live with a man she barely knows. That wouldn't really install much confidence in me to leave my own child with her personally.

While she presumably knows how to look after a baby, it's not guaranteed she will want to look after someone elses child who is screaming all night and waking her child up. What if she has a habit of loosing her temper. OP literally knows nothing about her, I would at least meet someone before they spent a night with my DD.

PS V original name !!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 16:43:24

HopandSkip- and lots of new Dads aren't leaving babies overnight with their DWs at that age but you know what, when they split up, the Dad (usually) has no choice but to do so. Why can't Mum do the same? Why is it one rule for Mum and one for Dad? Obviously the caveat is if she is breastfeeding and as the OP hasn't responded to the numerous comments on this point, I would assume that she is not.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 16:44:17

at 4 months, a lot of mums aren't leaving babies overnight with their DH's -umm where do these dh go then?Are they kicked out the house to roam the streets at night? I thought it was quite common (unless dh works night shift) that babies were in the house with both parents at night time, so effectively in the evening once dh come home from work, parental responsiblities are shared.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 16:47:14

Titty, I think HopandSkip meant that the Mums weren't leave the babies alone with DH overnight.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 16:48:01

Dreaming, she said earlier she was off to feed the baby and would reply later once she's read everything so we dont know if she is BF or not yet.
And this isn't a case of dads been there every night and now they've split so DS is used to him looking after him at night. His dad hasn't been there from the start.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 16:53:00

Hopandskip, the op doesn't have a right to know. It would be obviously be better if she and ex could get on and all parties (including new partners) could have civil relationships with each other but from reading the op, doesn't sound likely. When she leaves her dc with her ex, she is accepting that he is responsible for them in his time, and can delegate this responsibility to persons of his choice (be it new girlfriend/grandparents/childminder). Unless op has valid reasons for concern (and not knowing the new girlfriend is not valid) then op has to accept this.

DoItToJulia Mon 28-Jan-13 16:56:00

YANBU. At all.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 16:56:55

Oh, I see. Well perhaps she will answer the point about BF when she returns. In any event, BFeeding wouldn't prevent him having his baby for a few hours away away from OP's house. I have said that if she doesn't feel ready for overnight stays just yet, then she should talk to her Ex and try to compromise but she makes it quite clear from her original post that the reason she doesn't want him to have contact away from her house is nothing to do with what is in the best interests of her baby, but because the thought of her ex's girlfriend being anywhere near the baby makes her "feel physically sick," not because she doesn't think he is a good dad.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 16:58:09

My last post was in response to HopandSkip

Mother2many Mon 28-Jan-13 17:00:44

I went through this too, and at 4 months old, no...Not saying he can't see your child, but not for overnight. You may always see his new relationships as a "replacement" for what you COULD of had with him. A family. It does hurt. He is still the dad and visitations should be allowed. You can't prevent who is introduces to your child, on his time....

Good luck...

DonnaDoon Mon 28-Jan-13 17:01:44

OP I feel your pain..but this is going to hurt at any age whether its 6 months or 6 years down the line and I am inclined to think that you should be tackling this sooner rather than baby is nearly 4 months and at his age they are usually becoming familiar with their I would begin gradually handing him over.

Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 17:04:42

I didn't have to prove myself to anyone before being allowed to have an active part in my child's life. What woman does ? Why does this man have to prove himself ? He is equally responsible for this child's financial and emotional security. If he fucks up, then time to revisit the matter.

At the moment he's going to be punished for something he might do and simply because the OP is hurting. It's not ideal for her but it's not just about her.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 17:06:47

I went back to full time work when my DD was four months old. It was all the mat leave I could have at that time. All this bollocks about the baby won't settle unless he is with his primary care giver. I still considered myself to be a primary care giver to my baby at that time. Along with my DP, my Mum and his mum. Was my DD damaged by this? Well she is doing her homework now. She is 10. I still remember the witches in purchase ledger blethering on about how they couldn't leave their babies at that age. Some days I didn't see her awake. But she is fine. And so am I.

And I will say to the OP, your baby will be fine if your ex is a good Dad. And if he is a good Dad then you have your answer about what you need to do. Don't listen to the crap about how other people couldn't leave their babies at that age. Some of us had to.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 17:07:31

Why does this man have to prove himself ?

Because so far he's not exactly come up trumps, and he and his current partner have set up home together in the blink of an eye.

Lafaminute Mon 28-Jan-13 17:09:44

Isn't it just biology that gives OP the upper hand in this situation? They are both the parents of this baby and should have equal rights to establish a good close relationship with their baby. The father should have every right to feed his baby, change him, watch him sleep, get up with him during the night, etc etc. There would probably be no qualms if he wasn't in a relationship but living alone and showing this much interest in parenting. IMO it is in the baby's and the father's best interest to allow them to bond as much as possible.
I say this from the pov of a mother who is still with my childrens father but with my first baby I did everything - and my first child was and is wholly attached to me and not at all her father but with my second I became sick when he was small and his father had to do a lot of the basic care: nights, nappies, bottle feeding. They have a very strong bond and I realise that had I made let him be more involved with out firstborn they would probably have a better relationship - which would be to everyones benefit.

Daddelion Mon 28-Jan-13 17:11:41

Men aren't capeable of looking after babies overnight. Fact

End of.

Apart from they can.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 17:13:05

Because so far he's not exactly come up trumps

I think the OP has already said he is a good Dad. So how has he not come up trumps as a Dad, which is what is important? He may not have been a perfect partner but that doesn't affect his abilities to be a good Dad. The two are not intertwined.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 28-Jan-13 17:18:15

You had unprotected sex with a man you considered good enough to be a parent. Your adult relationship breaking down doesnt change that fact.

Would you be happy if the situation was reversed? I doubt it. The dad is an equal parent and should be treated like one. Why should he have to prove himself? Did you, of course you didnt. Its just luck that you are the female so gave birth.

ChocHobNob Mon 28-Jan-13 17:19:54

Unless the baby is being breastfed then I also think YABU. I totally agree with Dreaming.

When my youngest was a few months old, I ended up back in hospital, on a ward where a young baby couldn't even enter, let alone stay with me. Even though I had been the primary carer and my husband had been out working, my son was left in my husband's care for a while whilst I was in hospital. He survived. wink

If the father in the OP hadn't have been around much, hadn't bonded with the baby, was abusive or didn't have a safe place for the child to spend time in then of course it wouldn't be a good idea. But he was at the birth and by the sounds of it has been spending regular contact with the child and now wants it to progress. I also don't go in for the whole "no overnights until they are 1 ... 2 .... 3" etc. Not to say it isn't going to be very hard for the OP to let go though.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 28-Jan-13 17:40:45

OP I think you should start by exP having your child at his house rather than yours during the day. Then you all may become more comfortable with overnights.

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 17:49:10

I would start with unsupervised days, and I would want to meet the new partner before this happens.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 17:51:16

yy to days.

TepidCoffee Mon 28-Jan-13 17:58:15

Four months is too young.

JumpingJackSprat Mon 28-Jan-13 17:59:34

its his child as well. you need to get over this and quickly for your sons benefit. not allowing access overnight because you dont feel its best for your son and IF you have a good reason is completely different to not allowing it because youre bitter and its sounds like the latter. understandable maybe but you have many years of coparenting to come with this man. and if he chooses to introduce his son to his new partner thats unfortunately none of your business just as you would presumably not allow him a say in when you intro your child to any new partners of yours.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 18:01:20

Why TepidCoffee?

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 18:04:44

To me I think the younger the better, it will be normal to them.

After 2 years of never sleeping away from home it will be a huge change

TheProvincialLady Mon 28-Jan-13 18:23:02

See a solicitor and get a court order in place, for the reasons that Mosman stated earlier on. Over my dead body would my 4 month old baby be going on overnight visits anywhere with anyone, and I wouldn't care how many women choose or have to send their babies to a childminder. The OP doesn't have to send her baby for an overnighter and why on earth should she? It will do the baby no good at all in terms of his relationship with his father. The OP is the baby's primary carer, doing all the shitwork all the time, and the baby wants to be with her. Why should the father have any kind of right to upset baby and mother at this time, when as it has been pointed out repeatedly in this thread, no court would make them? Just don't do it OP. Build up contact and care gradually and think about overnight stays when your son turns 1.

Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 18:28:04

See a solicitor and get a court order in place

Or learn how to effectively co-parent with this man. You have the rest of your life with this man in it, in some capacity. Much better surely to have a relationship that provides your child with security. Both of you need a say in residency, the provision of education, medical treatment, financial support, holidays, discipline etc etc. It doesn't need to be competitive or hostile.

Or as suggested above, you could race into Court and turn it into a battle without even giving it a chance.

kilmuir Mon 28-Jan-13 18:30:57

the baby is young , but does not mean he should be with mother ALL the time. If you were still with the father I assume you would leave them together.
Like it or not you sound very bitter. He will always be the father , deal with it and you need to move on.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 18:36:44

Or learn how to effectively co-parent with this man.


The OP is not worried about her child - it's term's like 'love nest' and 'playing happy families' - her issue is with his new relationship - jealousy should not stop a child seeing it's father and a child should never be used to force them to be with you - sorry OP but you need to accept he is with her

DoubleYew Mon 28-Jan-13 18:41:35

OP you are in a very difficult situation. I have the same thing with my ex setting up home ridiculously quickly with a new gf. It hurts my feelings. Plus it reinforces the idea that he is not being terribley responsible towards ds, wanting to introduce him to a new partner so soon, thinking of his own needs/wants rather than putting ds first.

However, it is in ds' interests to know his father. Personally I don't get the big deal about wanting overnights, they are (hopefully) asleep so what major use is that for bonding? This also leads me to think it is more about 'playing families' than building a relationship. Surely spending regular time when they are awake looking into a tiny baby's eyes, talking to them so they get to know their face and voice is more useful for building a relationship. On the otherhand, if he continues to be involved, overnights will be a part of that as he learns that this is dad's home and he is welcome there. And it may well be easier if he has being staying there since he was very young, so he is used to being away from you, because that is what it will involve whatever age he is.

However, only you know yourself as a mother, your baby and his dad. After 4 months your baby will have a strong attachment to you. Depending how much time he regularly spends with his dad he will also have an attachment to him. He may cope with being away from you. But from a child's point of view nights are not the same as day, it is dark and we don't know how much babies dream or are scared of shadows, noises etc at night that can scare older children. Some babies may be fine, some not, you can't know until you try. It is a hard choice to make because there is no perfect solution for you (if dad dropped off the planet, that is bad for ds, if he takes him, it could be hard on everyone).

If/when it happens, pay attention to how your ds behaves afterwards. I don't think it's useful to get into a debate about 'damage' but it is a fact that young children who get stressed regularly produce high levels of cortisol that can alter their brain. They can only communicate by their behaviour, not sleeping, not eating, withdrawing are the only way babies can express themselves, they cannot tell you they are scared or worried about something.

It is important to act relaxed and friendly around your ex so ds picks up that this is a person that mummy trusts, which could help him to feel more relaxed too (even if it sticks in your throat to be friendly to him).

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 18:44:31

Very well put Blistory

What's the point in courts and fighting and all that animosity before trying to sensibly co-parent.

BelaLugosisShed Mon 28-Jan-13 18:48:38

A man who fucks off/checks out of a relationship when his partner is pregnant, deserves no rights at all, ever, if that's what the mother wants.

If he wants to be a father now, tough shit, it should be on OP's terms.

A child is better off with no father at all than someone who betrayed his mother so blithely.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 18:49:41

utter rubbish Bela

ChocHobNob Mon 28-Jan-13 18:52:57

"A child is better off with no father at all than someone who betrayed his mother so blithely."

I bet the child would feel differently.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 18:55:57

Oh FFS so people aren't allowed to split up now?

By your reckoning a pregnant woman should stay with her DH even if she hated him...or she wouldn't deserve any rights at all, ever.


gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 18:56:47

adult relationships end - it's no reflection on anyones love for their kids

BelaLugosisShed Mon 28-Jan-13 19:01:12

Yes, I'm sure it wouldn't affect you at all to know that your father left your mother because she was pregnant with you. hmm

Finding something like that out as an adult can destroy a person.

BelaLugosisShed Mon 28-Jan-13 19:04:07

"By your reckoning a pregnant woman should stay with her DH even if she hated him...or she wouldn't deserve any rights at all, ever."

That's not what I mean at all.

I am specifically talking about the situation where a man leaves his partner when she is pregnant, because she is pregnant.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 19:20:53

peoples feelings aren't allowed to change either then - so a woman who books a termination them changes her mind when she see's the scan has not rights ?

not wanting to be a parent and becoming a parent are different things and views can change

Floralnomad Mon 28-Jan-13 19:23:17

We only have the OPs word for that being the reason they split and the OP has been rather absent from this thread and not responded to lots of questions.

DoubleYew Mon 28-Jan-13 19:26:27

Flora, give her a break, she said she was going to feed the baby and she is probably doing bedtime now, on her own, because she is a lone parent.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 19:26:33

Ok so this may be the longest reply ever! Sorry for delay, teething DS and broken back door to mend.
I debated whether or not to post in AIBU and some of the posts have been probably not surprisingly, quite blunt and a little hurtful.
But I appreciate people taking time to post regardless.

I am not breast feeding DS due to medication.
We don't live in the UK
I do not 'supervise' my ex with our DS, he takes him out, I just wanted opinions on whether IWBU re his demands to see him at his place.
He also sees him at my place.

To reply to a few individuals:

JenaiMorris - I don't know what she (OW) thinks. I don't know her. Ex is becoming a father figure to her DD so I suppose she would have to accommodate DS too.

Myroomisatip - thanks!

Mosman/Sallyinforth - yes ex is on birth cert. Maintenance = random amounts, generous enough but not regular.

Missy Moo - I've asked myself that. I don't think so. I just feel he's too young at the moment.

Jenai Morris - OW's child is 5 & she lives with them. I agree with you, I think OW has been foolish as they've never even dated to my knowledge. Were friends and then moved in together...

KellyElly - I'm trying really hard not to be bitter believe me! It's all happened so quickly and he keeps telling me to move on. I don't want to spend this precious time with my baby with all this shit going on.

HopAndSkip - thank you. I think you hit the nail on the head. He had never lived with us since DS was born. DS knows some of my friends better.

BonaDea - :-) I will, thanks

Worra - Disney dad. When it suits him

Cory - I'm really trying not to do that but because I have good and bad days it could appear that way I suppose. His dad can't settle him when he's upset for example. I stay out of the way and listen to it. I don't interfere unless ex asks me to.

WhatstheBuzz - exactly. I don't trust him. I did once

Mosman - thank you. I think he'll stick around but I'm fearful that she will become pregnant v quickly. I then wonder how much time he'll have for DS.

2wwmadness - sorry you are going through this too. Please PM if you want to

Vinegar Tits - your situation is nothing like mine. But lovely how you're so cool and breezy about it. Good for you. And FYI yes he was shagging her behind my back whilst cocklodging with me, hense my sounding "not happy, bitter and resentful".. How wonderfully reasonable you sound. My ex would love you.

Kilmuir and others who have told me to suck it up and deal with it - I am trying. I am in therapy and I am trying my best.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 19:29:10

What a load of crap Bela. He continued living with the OP for 6 months after ending the relationship, he didn't exactly leave her destitute. He has been involved throughout the pregnancy and the short life of his child. Just because he doesn't want to be with the OP doesn't mean he deserves to have his son used as ammunition against him.

You clearly think it does, and IMO that makes you a very bitter and twisted individual.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 19:29:59

Oh and Flora, I don't have to justify myself to you but for the record, I'm doing my best in difficult circumstances. I thought I was in a stable relationship and if I'd known he was dipping his wick elsewhere I'd have finished the relationship. He wasn't honest with me.
Please take your judgy pants and hoik them elsewhere.

Floralnomad Mon 28-Jan-13 19:33:24

Actually I'm not being judgy , I was just pointing out that I'm sure his side of this tale would be very different to yours , I didn't ask you to justify anything to me and if you don't want opinions I suggest you put in future posts that you only want replies from people who agree with you !

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 19:33:26

Iwantanafternoonnap - your post almost made me cry! Thanks for your kind words, you articulated exactly how I'm feeling.

BelaLugosisShed Mon 28-Jan-13 19:38:34

Dolly - I'm not surprised you are feeling very bitter, you don't have to be "reasonable" , just do what you need to do to protect yourself and your baby, he lost all rights when he walked out on you to shack up with his affair-partner.
Men who do this to their pregnant partners are scum.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 19:39:47

and being told your dad is 'scum' will in no way damage you hmm

thankfully most lone parents put their childrens needs first

Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 19:43:35

OP, everyone understands that a relationship breaking down is tough. And it makes it even tougher when you don't get a clean break and he gets to waltz into a lovely shiney new life while you're left picking up the pieces.

That doesn't mean he's going to be a bad father.

You haven't provided any reasons for denying him proper access in your opening post other than you're hurting. You said you wanted clarity ? Well, you hurting doesn't mean that you get to dictate your baby's right to have both parents in his life. It isn't going to be easy but you can make it easier if you can come to peace with what happened and not allow it to colour your view of him as a parent.

FWIW I think he was a horrible partner to you but that's his problem, not yours.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 19:49:10

Ok well I think I'll leave this now. Once again thanks to all of you who bothered to post and give me your opinions. I didn't expect everyone to agree with me, and many of you didn't but put it kindly. Thanks for that - food for thought.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 19:51:47

Dolly it gets better - keep your chin up and be angry if it helps - but separate that from the father/son thing x

This thread is shocking.

Fathers are no less important than mothers.

Noone should have to stay in a relationship they are not happy in.

No woman should ever use the kids as a weapon. Its vile. Anyone who thinks this is ok should be ashamed of themselves. Children are not ours. They are their own people who will grow into their own life.

Lord knows I cannot stand my ex. Or his partner. But I slept with him. I created a child. He treated me like utter shit for years, abused me, stole from me, still tries to control me now.

But I have no right to keep him from his child because he has given me no cause to.

Its a difficult situation. I understand emotions run high. But at some point you will have to do the right thing. The sooner you do that the better for your DS.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 19:52:07

dollyindub a court will not compell you to allow overnight access at this age.
You should consult a solicitor to discuss reasonable access arrangements for your ds to his father. Your ds has the right to see his father and at some stage it is probable that you would be compelled to allow unsupervised access outside of your home. All decisions should be made with ds interests being paramount. Your lawyer should be able toguide you in this. Not sure where you're living so can't be exactly clear re: legal position but that's gist in general.

I really feel for you.
I am also shocked and saddened by the harshness towards you of some of the comments on this thread. Anyone who actually knows anything about
Attachment, emotional development and mothering will understand that it is not reasonable for your ex to have your ds stay overnight at this stage.

Good luck. This situation will get easy as time goes on.

thebody Mon 28-Jan-13 19:56:41

No not for me op. 4 months far too young for overnight away from mom.

Bonsoir Mon 28-Jan-13 19:58:21

Honestly - babies don't need to see their fathers much. Fathers might want to see their babies, but all babies need are their mothers (and their mothers need another adult - not necessarily the father - to provide a bit of respite).

Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 20:01:41

How many times ? Babies dont give a damn if the primary carer is a man, woman or talking chimpanzee. As long as they are cared for, fed, watered, their needs met.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:07:48

Honestly - babies don't need to see their fathers much. Fathers might want to see their babies, but all babies need are their mothers (and their mothers need another adult - not necessarily the father - to provide a bit of respite).

Unbelievable shock

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 20:09:37

What s load of rubbish Bonsoir. Not even helpful to the op.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:10:22

Once they are used to their mother, they need their mother. Some of the P.C shit on this thread is ridiculous.
If dad's want "equal parenting" then they need to be putting equal time, effort and money in from the start not just when it suits them to begin making demands for their rights.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 20:11:02

But this primary carer IS the mother.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 20:12:16

And yes, I agree with Hop about she PC bollocks.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 20:12:42

The, not she.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:13:03

Oh and also, if a dad really cares about his unborn baby then he would be better off not cheating on the mum carrying it, as i'm sure every adult is aware stress on pregnant women affects the baby.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:14:38

he didm't cheat

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:16:32

Hopandskip - how the hell is the dad meant to put in equal parenting when the mum won't let him. He has tried to be involved throughout but has only been allowed restricted access - the Mum is hurting at him ending their relationship

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 20:17:07

Every situation is different, but it is not pc bollocks to say that a father is more than capable of looking after a baby. But of course it depends on the father.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:18:10

*because the Mum is hurting

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 20:18:24

I personally wouldn't be comfortable with overnights until the baby was a bit older.

We're not talking about a committed and involved dad who has been there day to day since birth. And I would question the commitment of someone who wished to treat a new gf as a step mum so soon into the relationship especially if the gf has been happy to do so with her own child.

Yanbu to not be happy with overnights but yabu to try and prevent a decent relationship being built up with dad just because he's now living with the gf but he would bur to start off on that footing with ds and the gf.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:19:41

And FYI yes he was shagging her behind my back whilst cocklodging with me
Unless you know more about OP's situation than she does, it appears he was cheating.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:21:48

Lovely I don't doubt he would probably be more than capable of looking after the baby as in feeding, changing, bathing. But that doesn't mean he's capable of comforting, reassuring why mum has suddenly left him, reassuring of why he's in a strange place with strange people, and getting him to sleep. Thats the issue, he's too young to understand.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:22:35

Sockreturning - but he has been there since the beginning. He lived with the OP for 6 months after they split up, was there for the birth and has been having contact (subject to the OP's rules) during his 4 month life. What more can he do if the OP won't let him?!!

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:22:53

Not in the OP - so I think that's been said to skew the story sorry

still doesn't mean that a child doesn't deserve a relationship with their dad

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:26:00

Hopandsock - if he was given time to actually build a relationship with his child then he would be perfectly capable of providing comfort and baby would be more than content with his DAD.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:27:47

the OP's description in last post was Disney dad. When it suits him hardly sounds like he's "been there since the beginning" with any consistancy dreaming.
And it said she had concerns about her inappropriateness and his lack of boundaries before they moved in together, so its hardly like she just made up the cheating hmm Why bother even reading the thread if you think the OP is lying.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 20:27:55

Well I do respect what you are saying hop. And I dont know the ops ex. But I think if I had split with my dp he couldve done it. Not all fathers are same though.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:28:33

Huh hum. It's HopAndSkip, not flipping sock shock

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 20:29:35

If he's been there with the baby everyday since birth how has he had time to be moving in with a new gf.

It sounds very much like they were not togather for 6 months he stayed living at her house whilst going off and having a new relationship but moved out before the birth.

At least that's what it implys to me,

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:31:03

I do understand I'm going by my experience of what dads can be like, while you're going by yours of what they can be like.

But just putting the point there that they aren't all lovely dedicated dads who are desperate to spend hours with their beloved children. Some couldn't give a toss and only want to see them when it suits to play daddy or show them off for a bit.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:31:44

using a child to punish the dad is unacceptable - regardless

Bonsoir Mon 28-Jan-13 20:32:22

What exactly do you think is going to happen to a baby who doesn't see his/her father for more than a few hours every few weeks for the first year of his/her life?

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:32:43

How's it to punish the dad? It's to make sure the child is happy and secure. The dad's feelings are irrelevant.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 20:34:35

Hop, what you are saying is true also. If you have an ex like that then the ops situation sounds.much less clear cut.

NellyBluth Mon 28-Jan-13 20:35:42

I really want bonsoir to come back and explain that comment, though I'm hoping it is a joke shock

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 20:35:46

By that I mean your perception is going to be different.

Daddelion Mon 28-Jan-13 20:36:14

'The dad's feelings are irrelevant.'

Hmmmm. For how long?

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:37:34

Bonsoir- Clearly they will grow up to be dysfunctional, disturbed adults who greatly suffer by not having those important overnights at 4m/o and have no relationship with their dads due to this. I'll keep an eye on my DD and let you know.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 20:38:32

Hop I think the comment was aimed at both of us hence the change to sock.

The problem with threads like this is so many people don't know when there being shits or when there are valid reasons for concerns.

If your a primary carer whose unfairly restricting contact is hard to see it just as it is if your a none primary carer who exhibits behaviour that any reasonable person would have concerns about.

If you've been subject to the other parent in your life doing one or the other then its hard to see beyond that.

I.e I have in my life an ex who can't be unsupervised with kids so I tend to draw on that experance.

Someone whose had an ex who alienated them would tend to draw on that experance.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:38:40

daddelion. They are never relevant, just like the mums aren't. The child is the important one...

feministefatale Mon 28-Jan-13 20:40:41

Um, no. YANBU. And I wouldn't allow it.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:41:33

Sorry HopandSkip, it was a typo.

*The thought of that woman and him playing happy families with my DS makes me feel ill TBH, so I have said he can see him when he likes (when mutually convenient) but only at my place.
Obviously he is unhappy about this.*

I am trying to constantly remember that it's my son's relationship with his dad, and not my issues with him that is important, but it's just so damn hard at the moment!

Bollocks HopandSkip that it's to make sure the child is happy and secure; those 2 paragraphs from the OP above make it perfectly clear what this is about. Bitterness, jealousy and control, nothing more. (Although I do understand why the OP feels this way - doesn't make it right though)

feministefatale Mon 28-Jan-13 20:42:11

Well exactly, hopandskip. Adults often forget these things.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:45:45

and the rights of the child to have a healthy relationship with both parents are vital

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:45:56

There is a reason the court doesn't order overnights for under 1's, and why 2-3 visits for 1-2 hours at a time is recommended for this age. They are babies, not possessions to be shared out.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 20:45:59

To clarify: he continued to live with me because it was cheaper and more convenient for him, not for any altruistic reasons. He didn't give a crap about me or the baby when I was pregnant. He admits that now and says he was selfish hmm

He only attended the birth because I begged him to. I was deeply concerned about his lack of interest and thought it would help seeing his child come into the world. I had a friend on standby as birthing partner.
He was carrying on with OW during my pregnancy. I think his negative reaction was partly to do with his involvement with her.

hrrumph Mon 28-Jan-13 20:46:47

Well if it were me (and I fully appreciate it's not and i have no idea how badly he's treated you) I would be, going forward, trying to ensure my dc had the best possible outcome from this.

IMV the best thing for dc would be to have a good relationship with you both, with as little stress as possible in the circumstances.

Presumably at some time or other he is going to have access. And it would be better for your ds if your ex knew exactly what his needs are and how to care for him.

It would also be good if your ds just saw it as a natural part of life to spend some time with you and some time with him.

As such I'd perhaps let him take ds for a couple of hours initially but not overnight and not without a legal/formal agreement.

But as I haven't been through this, I'm probably not the best to advise. From an outside point of view though, this is how I'd see it.

Goldmandra Mon 28-Jan-13 20:46:55

OP, people keep telling you that no court will order overnight access for your exP.

I have skimmed through again and didn't see you say which country you are in. If you haven't mentioned it I fail to see how anyone could know what a court is likely to order.

PLEASE go and get proper advice from someone who knows the system in your country.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:47:30

gordy, you wouldn't even be aware if you hadn't seen your mum or dad for the first year of your life. It in no way affects their relationships health. Otherwise how would adoptions work past a few months old.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:47:53

he was single during your pregnancy though - so not carrying on at all - you said you slit up when you found out you where pregnant.

he wants contact with his son - that is a GOOD thing - drop the anger and be the better person

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:48:59

Hop children bond with people other than their mums from a very early age - or do you think bonding isn't improtant

adoptions often fail for that reason

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 20:49:01

Not breezy about my attitude op, just a little bit more mature and less selfish than someone who uses a child as a pawn

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:49:10

I think you are drip feeding a little OP

Daddelion Mon 28-Jan-13 20:49:12

Well, surely the mother's feelings are irrelevant too?

So if the father is capable of looking after his child there shouldn't be a problem.

At the moment he's not allowed to see his son away from the mother.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:51:24

If she was using the child as a pawn she wouldn't be allowing any access and he wouldn't have been at the birth.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:51:52

Well Hop, the Op should have no problem handing THEIR baby over for overnight contact, will she. After all being without a parent has no impact on their relationship or health

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 20:52:08

DOlly I knew someone whose partner cheated on her, they went to mediation and when he moaned that she told him to back off from her and the 5 year old son for 3 months the mediator told him he was lucky and she knew of couples where the woman had banned the man from seeing children for alot longer than that.

As the primary care giver of a small child I would say look after yourself at the moment and dont let anyone bully you or make you feel bad.

You have to do what it takes to first of all keep your sanity, may I remind you and other posters - that many women in the most stable and secure family unit when they have had a baby can suffer from a range of mental health problems. Let alone having a baby then finding yourself in this predicament.

As others said - seek advice find out exactly where you stand - dont be bullied and concentrate on yourself. If you need some space without harrasment - so be it.

After a while you will feel differnet - and then - review the situation.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 20:53:06

but she isnt allowing access, not overnight anyway, and only at her home, if she wasnt using him she would be happy for her ex to have proper contact

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:53:24

but she is - she wont allow him access in his home - only away from his partner of the last 14 months - he is in a relationship - this is part of his life - why should he be forced to pretend otherwise because the OP is bitter?

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:53:32

I repeat, 2 paragraphs of the OP make it plain to see what her motives are. And it certainly isn't concern for her son's welfare

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:54:11

Daddelion that's exactly what I said, mothers and fathers feelings are irrelevant, well done smile

And the problem is he is capable of the basic care any adult is capable of. He is not capable of comforting the baby yet. I don't see why the baby should be left to cry for hours in a strange place before he understands why, just because his parents don't get on and his dad isn't prepared to either put the extra hours in to get to know him, or wait a few months.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 20:55:33

Dreaming It's nothing to do with who's a parent or not, its who the baby is happy and secure with. So no, it's not fair on the baby to be away from his mum before he's ready.

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 20:56:22

Not meaning to drip feed. It's long and complicated and I thought I included the basic facts in the OP, but people have been making assumptions and judgements that were incorrect.
Anyway, I've taken enough of a bashing for one day and DS is crying. Thanks again to those of you who were kind with your words even if you thought IWBU.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 20:56:35

Please lay off the OP a bit. This is mumsnet, not make mumsfeellikeshitnet.
She is a single parent to a 4 m.o baby whose father has fucked off after cheating on her. (this was pretty clear from the op btw )
Of course she's feeling upset. It's uncalled for to use terms like bitter and controlling.
OP has to make decisions about what's best for her child. This is not a game where the absent father gets to have equal dibs just to be playing fair. 4 months of age is too young to go overnight to these ppl - fact. The accusation that this young baby is being used as a weapon and a pawn is u justified.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 20:57:06

'And the problem is he is capable of the basic care any adult is capable of. He is not capable of comforting the baby yet'

and you know this how? you must know him personally? you must have seen him with this child to know this, yes?

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 20:57:09

Unjustified. Pls excuse my iPad.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:57:29

what/?????? not capable of comforting a baby????? blimey - that's not my experience

do you know the OP Hop - what makes you think the baby will be left to 'cry for hours' - what an odd statement

the mans partner has a child and has experience with babies

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 20:57:29

But the OP hasn't said the baby isn't ready has she. Again, re-read the OP - that says why she is restricting access

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 20:58:25

I feel like i'vesteppeed into a fathers for justice forum.

Off to bed now this threads is becoming depressing.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:58:36

Emily - with respect she hasn't - read the OP - her motives are about her feelings not her child

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 20:59:31

oh and Emily it's not father's for justice it's doing what's best for everyone and allowing a child to bond with a perfectly normal dad

millie30 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:00:04

Unfortunately for parents, when a relationship breaks down the only person who matters is the DC. A 4 month old baby needs to be with its main carer, in this case (and most cases) its mother. If that means that the non resident parent is annoyed and doesn't think it is fair that they aren't getting equal time, overnights etc then that comes under the category of too bad. The baby's needs come first.

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 21:00:06

Doilly you have posted too soon, get them to back off and leave you to recover from this need to recover and keep yourself sane....

I am sure when you have recovered a bit in the next year or whenever you will be able to think about access etc.

Not four months after you have had a baby and had this horrid ordeal. Its too much and he should be backing off too and leaving you in peace.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 21:00:31

I have read the op.
We disagree.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 21:00:41

'cry for hours' jeesuz your making things up now

i babysat for my grandson for the first time recently, he doesnt know me very well as i live 100 miles from my son and his dw, so i dont get to see them very often, and guess what? he ate, he laughed, then he slept all night, go figure?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 21:00:45

The op has said he goes out with the baby and sees the baby away from her,its just overnights she's not happy with.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 21:01:50

she does not 'allow' him to take the child anywhere but 'out' and her home - he has a home he can't take his kid to - that is controlling

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 21:05:52

I am sure when you have recovered a bit in the next year or whenever you will be able to think about access etc.

So because he has been a rubbish partner, he should be prevented from spending time with his son, whereas if he had stayed with the OP he could have spent as much time as he wanted with his baby. Would you be suggesting that a woman stays in a relationship in which she wasn't happy and if she didn't she should be kept away from her child??!!!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 21:06:31

The first paragraph was a quote from Emily

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 21:06:35

to quote the op: 'The thought of that woman and him playing happy families with my DS makes me feel ill TBH, so I have said he can see him when he likes (when mutually convenient) but only at my place.'

if thats not selfish, bitter and controlling, then im the queen of sheba!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 21:06:38

Its not quite the same as not allowing contact really is it

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 21:08:14

it's using contact to control him - just as bad

Blistory Mon 28-Jan-13 21:10:57

Fathers for justice ? Don't make me laugh.

Women need to let go of this idea that they are automatically the best carer otherwise we'll never achieve equality. I think you'll find that the majority of feminists would agree that men should be more involved in parenting and that childcare shouldn't all fall on the woman by default. If some women feel threatened by that, they should be questioning why. Perhaps because society has assigned them a role whether they want it or not.

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:14:10

So those who think a baby shouldn't be seperated from the RP overnight, how do you feel if the RP has to work nights.

while pregnant with my son, this was the case of some of the nurses on my ward.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 21:15:35

I agree blistory. This idea that you are somehow a second class mum if you are not with your baby every second of the day is not helpful. It certainly made my return to work ten years ago when dd was 16 weeks agonizing. The guilt was horrendous. (and yes I still breastfed)

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 21:17:54

I've been a long time lurker on MN - it was a great help when I was pregnant.. I was aware that AIBU can be a bunfight and thought quite carefully before posting, but the spite and nastiness from some posters has left me speechless. And in tears if I'm honest.
I didn't post on here to be hung out to dry with assumptions being made left, right and centre.
I thought I'd get a variety of responses, many saying IABU, but I will never post here again as some individuals seem to take delight in laying into me when truthfully I'm feeling like crap.
Thanks again to those of you who have been kind - even if you think IABU.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 21:22:15

no one is laying into you - people are discussing what you posted on an open forum.

I was married OP - with 3 children including a 7mth old when my husband met another woman and left - they have my girls 3 nights a week and my children regale me with tails of Daddy and 'J' ll the time

I lost my marriage, my future, my house - I used to scream into pillows and cry myself to sleep but never ONCE did I stop them seeing their dad

you need to separate your feelings from this situation - stop being passive aggressive - keep getting support for your emotions and let your son have a relationship with his dad that you don't use to control him

Lovelygoldboots Mon 28-Jan-13 21:22:39

I really hope I haven't made you feel like that dolly. You are in an undoubtedly shitty situation. I hope it all works out for you and that you do find support. Good luck, I hope you can work things out with ex

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:24:58

dolly that is the nature of this fourm, threads get started an a discussion is formed.

What are your main worries about your baby spending over night his father's home?

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 21:25:49

ive not seen anyone personally attack you op, or be nasty to you, your well thought out post did not come across as being in the best interest of your ds, instead it made you sound bitter and resentful with no clear and valid reasoning for not allowing your ex to have his ds overnight, if telling you that makes me nasty then sorry but its the truth

ConfuzzledMummy Mon 28-Jan-13 21:27:40

He should be able to see his father but until hes been with this woman for at least a few months he shouldnt even be thinking about introducing her to his son. Could you not compromise and tell him you dont feel comfortable for him to stay over just yet but he can see him during the day. Then you could maybe meet his girlfriend and then make a decision about him staying overnight.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 21:28:21

OP, I'm sorry if you have felt upset by some of the posts. It may be that mine have been some of them but the majority of posts which are likely to have upset you have been responses to other posters who have defended your actions and I and other posters disagree with them. I guess this thread has become a discussion about your situation rather than a discussion with you.

Perhaps you should try to give some thought to what all posters have said, not just those who agree with you. And i mean that in a genuine, non snidey way. Maybe it will help you to move forward if you can try to seperate his actions as a partner from his abilities as a Dad. I don't think anyone meant to upset you but just wanted to express their opinion as strongly as others who believe you are perfectly within your rights to restrict your ex's access to his and your son.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 21:31:27

I'm not sure my last post made much sense although it did in my head


elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 21:34:07

Iwantanafternoonnap - put it beatifully.

Dolly, when I had my baby, I was put under tremendous emotional strain, I had trouble bonding with my DD because I couldnt relax and enjoy and felt like a third person was grasping wanting the baby ( not the DF), another family memeber.

I know what its like to have this pressure.

You dont need it you have enough.

Please please dont even read posts by some on here, Iwantan - put it beatifully and Hop and Skip are some of the more human posters here understanding that RIGHT NOW THIS MINUET, you are not ready to give.

For all those saying it must not be about her - I strongly disagree - a small life is depending on her right now - she has to be kept afloat to keep the baby afloat.

When the situation has calmed down and you have got into a proper rthyum with baby, I am sure you will be able to consider access et all.

Some people have no shame.

If I did this to my partner I would have the good grace to back off - and try to offer help, and put my personal needs on the back burner until the raw hurt had died down a little - then - start to talk about access and much later - over night stays!

It doesnt have to not happen just not RIGHT NOW.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 21:38:47

But perhaps if the OP would let her ex be a bigger part of their child's life then he could take some of the strain from her.

The OP and her ex are the two most important people in that baby's life, the ex isn't some irritating relative trying to grab her baby like in your situation Eliza

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 28-Jan-13 21:43:33

So because we have a different opinion to you Eliza, we aren't humane?! Nice.

Actually I think that many of us are trying to see it from everyone's perspective, rather than just the OP's who has admitted why she doesn't want her ex to have proper access. No one has said it isn't difficult for the OP just that they don't believe what she is doing is right or fair

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 21:44:50

yy you should only listen the the posters that agree with you op, the rest of us who are offering neutral advice and seeing things from a different perspective are all bad bad witches

Varya Mon 28-Jan-13 21:48:26

No you are not being unreasonable. Baby son should be with his mother, not with his father's partner in their 'Love nest' You shouldn't even been asked IMO to consider this. Children come first and he is too young.

TheFallenNinja Mon 28-Jan-13 21:49:42

I guess there's a difference between rights and responsibilities. Whilst he may well be within his rights is it, at this exact point in time, the responsible thing to do?

Carting a 4 month old to and fro can't be the right or responsible thing to ask for right now. Routine is difficult enough to build.

ShephardsDelight Mon 28-Jan-13 21:51:58

I dunno I wouldn't be in any rush to accommodate the needs of a 'dad' who abandoned you whilst pregnant.

Emilythornesbff Mon 28-Jan-13 21:52:38

eliza well put.
Op, maybe have this moved to a different forum such as relationships??
I'm sure ppl dodn't mean to upset you. I think on aibu ppl get a bit wrapped up in their political views whereas in RL they might be more sympathetic.
Good luck.

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:55:18

Why is the baby too young Varya

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 22:08:02


Don't take it to heart try and remember that you are the only person who knows your suituation worry s and concerns. Nobody on here can see into your head and plenty of people hold the views they do because of there own personal agenda, nothing at all is wrong with that but in real life people's personal agendas very rarely fit in with your personal experances or suituations.

Obviously in an ideal world both mum and dad would be ideal,togather or apart but sometimes they arnt, sometimes you have one parent who for what ever reason is unable to put a child's needs above there own, its down to the one who can put the child first to make the call as to what will be happening in the future.

There is nothing wrong with seeking advice both from a legal and therapeutic perspective or even from a organisation who specialises in dealing with this subject,

These are people whose job it is to advise the best way to go.

It can often be helpful to do so as its a good way of trying to work out what side of the fence your sitting on and work out if your being unfair or right in your concerns.

With important stuff like this its important to know that you don't need to decide right now,put it out of your mind compleatly for the rest of the day and tomorrow with a fresh head on make a few phone calls if you have a single parents or child advice charity in your area try them for advice or just a listening ear if you feel you want to talk to a lawyer or your therapist,they should be able to offer impartial support factual advice and info on your options.

formerdiva Mon 28-Jan-13 22:09:14

YANBU. 4 months is still IMO way too young to be away from the main career. At that age, my babies still felt like a physical extension of me and I think biology bears this out (the fact that babies still need milk, carrying, sleeping close by etc). I would have been distraught at the idea of an overnight separation at that age.

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 22:40:06

Good idea Emily, move this or instead post in relationships....

Yfronts Tue 29-Jan-13 00:14:44

You have so much to deal with in such early days with a young baby. You as the prime carer have to feel comfortable with whats going on.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 29-Jan-13 07:13:56

Emily, everyone has been sympathetic, this has nothing to do with political views and everything to do with people sharing their own, often painful experiences in order to give the op a different POV.

Matildaduck Tue 29-Jan-13 07:30:07

Hell would freeze over before he had my child overnight. Lots of daytime contact i would allow.
He left you both ( when you needed him most) and he needs to accept it will be a long time before you get over that.

catkitson Tue 29-Jan-13 08:00:23

YANBU. The baby is only 4 months old. Its too early. Your ex has hardly shown himself to be responsible, and there is no way Ild trust him to wake up every few hours to do the night feeds etc.

Emilythornesbff Tue 29-Jan-13 08:36:17

Sorry lovelygoldboots but some posts have been far from sympathetic. The op has been called bitter, selfish and controlling. These remarks are unkind and unnecessary. The defence of such remarks has been centred around the assertion of a kind of radical equality, which is a political view.

JenaiMorris Tue 29-Jan-13 08:36:59

fwiw if the OP had buggered off in similar circumstances, left the baby and set up home so swiftly with another partner, I'd expect the father to be similarly reluctant to allow overnight stays.

Some parents would be fine with it, and as long as they had complete faith in the other parent's motives and ability then that's fine (although I'd be a bit hmm about them introducing a relative stranger - ie the new partner - so early). This parent (ie the OP) isnt fine with it and that's completely understandable.

The overnight situation can be reviewed in a couple of months time. Most of us here have had babies of our own and know how much they change between 4 and 6 months, 6 months and 9.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 29-Jan-13 09:28:33

FWIW Emily I do agree that maybe AIBU was not the right place to post this. BUt AIBU is a place for people to call things as they see them and I think that the OP is in too painful a place to see things rationally. It's hard to say, nobody knows the OP or the ex and how it would work. You can only take your own experiences and say what you think. I have spoken about when I had my daughter and went back to full time work. My DP was a SAHD and in reality the prime carer. His job was not great so he stopped working as I was earning more money. He struck up a strong friendship with his friends wife. It upset me greatly and I wanted to leave him at that point and take my daughter. I really wanted to punish him. We got through in because we had counselling. Having a small baby brings everything into sharp focus and it is hard to step back sometimes and see the big picture. Those of us who have been through this (and I am thinking of gordy) can maybe see things differently.

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 29-Jan-13 10:09:48

Everything I can find about this on the Internet suggests that removing a baby overnight from his/her primary carer can be distressing for both baby and primary carer. You do not have to do this. Only do it if you are COMPLETELY happy and comfortable with it. It is recommended that the non-primary parent has short bursts of time with baby, gradually becoming more over time. My DD didn't stay overnight with ex and family until she was two. Just ensure that when you are ready to be separated overnight, father gets first option - not grandparents etc.

I would never have let my DD stay overnight with ex when she was only 4 months old, same with DS...he is nearly 1 and a half and hasn't been away overnight anywhere. I am married now but wouldn't send DS overnight to grandparents or anywhere, or leave him overnight with DH until DS is at least two, as I am his primary carer even within our own home.

Each to their own, but check your options - don't give in just because other people on here say he has rights as a father. You know how close being (forced to be) a single parent has brought you to your own baby - you have more rights as the primary carer so do what is right for you and baby.

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 29-Jan-13 10:38:24

Dollyindub - I have read over most of the thread, including your replies to some of the posters, and I just wanted to say that you seem to be a very together person considering what your two timing utter tosser of an excuse for a man put you through just when you needed him most. (To all those who judge me for that statement - he should have left if he was unhappy, not start a relationship whilst within one already).

I hope you stand by what you believe and don't allow yourself to be walked over in the name of 'equality'. The fact that an earlier post of yours mentions that your ex can't settle the baby suggests you are doing the right thing by not allowing the overnight stay as you would be worried sick and baby would be distressed.

You sound like you are dealing with this fabulously - don't lose heart because of a few cruel posters - I would LOVE to really see how they would deal with it if they were in your shoes, I can guarantee it wouldn't always be the way they say it would be!

Best of luck xx

mindosa Tue 29-Jan-13 11:01:10

Its not about your ex and his new partner, its about your DS who should not be away from his mother for a night

KC225 Tue 29-Jan-13 11:18:11

I agree with seenenought, You do seem very together. You have been dealt an awful blow by to the start of motherhood. We are talking a small timescale here. Within four months you are a new Mother, you find out you are being cheated on and then you are on your own and heartbroken. Be kind to yourself, ignore the heartless/blunt posters on here. Take all the time you need, You have done really well so far, putting your feelings aside for the sake of your son - your son DOES have a relationship with his Father and you are not denying him that. You are a new mum and some of us forgot what those first few months are like. Maybe more access and overnighters are something you can aim for in future and work towards but it's your call, when you are ready.

gordyslovesheep Tue 29-Jan-13 11:38:04

Do you know I hate it when people call people for being honest

I have been in the ops situation ...worse in fact, and I have a different view ...I am allowed to voice that

I am also allowed to engage in a wider discussion without being called cruel

Lovelygoldboots Tue 29-Jan-13 12:07:29

KC, being blunt does not mean you are heartless. I can't understand why so many posters with differing pov can't see that. Everyone here agrees on one thing, the welfare of the child. Not everyone sees things in the same way you do and that is fine. But to call those people who view differently to you heartless is just insulting. No mother would want to leave their child for a night at four months. But some of us have had to do that. I missed my daughters first steps because I was at work and my DP was SAHP. Of course I didn't want to be there. But at the time thats what I had to do. Yes a differing situation. But I don't think that makes me heartless to think that an overnight stay is not going to damage this child. But I can understand posters who think that maybe it is a little young.

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 29-Jan-13 12:11:20

But don't you think the OP has suffered enough without people calling her a bad person just because she isn't ready to hand her tiny baby over to her ex and a complete stranger overnight? When I used the word 'cruel' it was to describe the people kicking this poor woman whilst she's already down. Some people just need to express their opinion a little more kindly than they have.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 29-Jan-13 12:13:49

I'm out, I have given all the advice I can give. Wishiing you the best Dolly.


I would not leave my baby overnight regularly at 4 months old.

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 29-Jan-13 12:37:36

Lovelygoldboots - that really wasn't aimed at you, you really seemed to have expressed your opinion with kindness, and no-one is judging you for having to go back to work. It's just a shame some people earlier in the thread were so quick to judge the OP without considering how she's feeling.

gordyslovesheep Tue 29-Jan-13 12:44:10

I'm with goldboots x best of luck op

I hope you understand no one has called you a bad person x

digerd Tue 29-Jan-13 13:08:06

Much too young imo, and it is not only the OW that you don't know but her child too who is living with your ex. How old is her DC?

KC225 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:07

The OP has requested views on a very emotive subject, Many posts have been able to express their opinion without being so harsh. Words like 'bitter' 'controlling' 'get over it' 'jealous' bringing up contraception are all lacking in compassion and I think heartless. It is possible to put over a point of view that is different without making it sound like a rant against the Daily Mail.

If you read my post you would see that I suggest she work towards longer stays with the Father and possible overnighters in the future but I think she needs to do it in her own time and not feel pressured.

ScaredySquirrel Tue 29-Jan-13 13:11:38

the baby's too young to stay away from you overnight.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Tue 29-Jan-13 13:15:13

The thought of that woman and him playing happy families with my DS makes me feel ill TBH, so I have said he can see him when he likes (when mutually convenient) but only at my place.

Why would they be playing happy families? Surely if he wants contact at home he will be doing all of the looking after, if he has to rely on help from the OW then he is clearly not ready for that type of contact. I wouldn't want the (In my case hypothetical) OW doing anything with my DS

We used to regularly look after our niece when she was 6 months old, she was fine until she realised that mummy and daddy weren't coming back before bed time. Then she'd scream and scream and scream before eventually settling and would then scream and scream and scream some more when she woke up with no mummy and daddy to be found. It did get better though which was nice since we had no baby experience at that point and it was just do what you think is right.

Teapot13 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:28:53

My husband (DD's father) were married when she was 4 months, still are married now, and there is no way I would have left her overnight with him at this age. She was still BF in the night, so that might be a difference to the OP's situation, but even if she hadn't been she was used to me getting up with her in the nights. I don't know if he would have been able comfort her the same way.

I am not arguing that men can't take care of babies, or that the relationship to the father is less important than the relationship to the mother. It is a question of a tiny baby being used to having his mother for comfort in the night and having to adjust suddenly to another person.

Tell the father you don't disagree with the idea but that the baby needs time to adjust -- start with shorter visits and work up to nights over the course of several months. Let the father know that separation anxiety will kick in at some point in the next couple of months and that this will slow things down as well. They don't need to put the father-child relationship on hold -- it just needs to be done in short visits to start.

littlemisssarcastic Tue 29-Jan-13 13:45:06

OP, I split with my xp when DD was 6 months old.
DD spent a few hours a day, on a few days a week, mutually agreeable to myself and xp. She did not spend overnights with him at 6 months old, and I don't think your baby should spend overnights with your ex at 4 months old.

However, I do think that your baby should spend a few hours with dad at dads house so they can build a relationship together.

I would leave the overnights until your baby was a year old. It will still be gutwrenching then, but I would start overnights at 1 year old, unless there were sufficient reasons not to.

wordfactory Tue 29-Jan-13 13:54:01

Op, right now you feel understandably hurt and upset...but try to put that aside as a. it will hurt no one but you and b. it won't change a thing.

What you need to think about now, more than anything, is the future. The future for your baby and you.

This is hard with a tiny infant. Each day seems all one is able to focus on. But childhood is a very long game and single parenthood is very very hard.

It will be hugely in your interests and the interests of your child if you establish a second person with who he is comfortable overnight. Being a single parent makes you vulnerable and thus your DS is vulnerable too. You could get could need to make a journey...hell, you might just want to go out from time to time.

Knowing your baby is safe and well cared for with his Dad will be a huge relief to you in time. Otherwise the responsibility can be awful.

How you go about getting into that position is up to you and your ex. Discuss it. You're going to need to get used to discussing things with him.

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 14:00:27

That's a very odd post, wordfactory.

Nancyclancy Tue 29-Jan-13 14:21:34

I personally would not have a problem with him taking the baby for an afternoon to his new place but not overnight. Nothing to do with the situation you're in but I couldn't imagine leaving a 4 month old overnight. But when he's older then I think you need to reconsider.

He is his dad though and be happy that he is keen to have a relationship with his son.

I understand you don't like the idea of them paying happy families, but that image is just in your head. As time goes by, you'll get used to it and your ds will be happy having a good healthy relationship with both his parents.

Hope you're getting maintenance!

wordfactory Tue 29-Jan-13 14:32:15

Bonsoir I practiced family law for a looooong time and met a million women in every conceivable difficult circumstance.

Single mums, it always seemed to me, had it so very very hard. Many had ex partners who were useless, abusive or frankly, not interested in their DC. That must be frightening and lonely.

It always made me sure that if I had an ex who was a decent father (or had the makings of one), no matter how bitter I felt about our relationship, I would do whatever I could to nurture the bond between he and my DC. Not just for the DC, but also for me and my sanity!

I really wouldn't want to parent alone.

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 14:33:45

Letting the father walk all over her is hardly nurturing the relationship. On the contrary, the OP needs to take a stand for her own interests and that of her child if she wants to ensure her future.

wordfactory Tue 29-Jan-13 14:38:19

I disagree.

Making a stand based on feelings of bitterness vis a vis the end of the relationship is in no ones interests. Least of all the OPs.

Discussing how best to get what she will want and need and what her baby will want and need througout the long game of childhood is imperative.

JenaiMorris Tue 29-Jan-13 14:55:00

Childhood is indeed a long game. Which is just one reason why the OP is perfectly reasonable to object to her ex taking their four month old baby overnight!

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 15:06:40

I don't think she is taking a stand based on bitterness - she is taking a stand based on the best interests of her child and herself right now. Those best interests will evolve over time, and it is when they have evolved (and she is in full possession of the facts at that future time) that she will be in the best position to negotiate for herself.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 29-Jan-13 15:07:20


Cultivating a good relationship and working towards overnights at a pace your ok with whilst making sure your baby is secure and comfortable is not letting yourself get walked over.

How very sad that you think it is.

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 15:10:12

The baby's father also sounds deeply irresponsible and, quite apart from the baby not needing to see him at all at this point, if I were the OP I would not be wanting to hand my baby over to anyone who had displayed such disregard for the feeling and well-being of others.

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 15:11:24

I speak from an unusually privileged position of knowing exactly why it is totally unimportant for a child to see his/her father in the early months! So no-one is going to convince me that it is necessary!

Mosman Tue 29-Jan-13 15:27:34

Wordfactory, being a single parent to a 4 month old doesn't mean the end of life as you know it, I met my DH when my eldest was 9 months old and never looked back.
It doesn't have to be as you described and I hope the OP can meet somebody lovely and have a wonderful life.
My mother on the other hand insisted we went to see our "father" every weekend to give her a break where he emotionally abused us and physically hurt us, all under the grandparents noses.
People do need to be careful who they hand their children over to.

JenaiMorris Tue 29-Jan-13 15:31:16

I agree with you 100% Bonsoir.

NellyBluth Tue 29-Jan-13 15:42:29

Bonsoir, what on earth does I speak from an unusually privileged position of knowing exactly why it is totally unimportant for a child to see his/her father in the early months! So no-one is going to convince me that it is necessary! actually mean confused

That statement really doesn't make any sense. Technically, I suppose, no one but the primary care giver is important to a child in the early months, but that primary care giver could be anyone, not just the biological mum. And honestly, are you saying that just because your experience (seems to be) is that your DC/s dad wasn't around in the first few months, you know everything there is to know about it and you can just decree what is right or wrong?

Hell, in that case, I could argue that it is totally unimportant for a baby to bf because mine is doing fine without having bf...

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 29-Jan-13 15:44:47

Bonsoir - since when did Fathers become obsolete?

lovetomoan Tue 29-Jan-13 15:45:22

4 month old baby? I wouldn't care if BF or FF, the only way I would be without the baby overnight is if I die.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 29-Jan-13 15:47:35

In fact NellyBluth, by Bonsoir's logic we can go even further - my husband was adopted and is doing fine so birth mothers are totally unimportant and irrelevant!

wordfactory Tue 29-Jan-13 15:52:18

Oh bonsoir you're doing that thing again where you're just looking at it from the prism of your own existence...

the fact that you merrily parented alone for the first few months, doesn't mean that everyone else can or indeed should. Most parents prefer to co-parent from the start. It's natural and normal.

The OP doesn't want to right now based on her ill feeling towards the father and his new lover. That's understandable...but not the basis on which to go forward.

FanFuckingTastic Tue 29-Jan-13 15:52:24

Could you arrange to build up to overnight stays?

It would be very tough I agree, but if this women is not abusive or dangerous, and baby's father is interested and wanting contact, I would try to encourage that. Perhaps set an age to work towards doing over nights from. Weaning starts at six months, so perhaps there? It gives you time to get used to the idea and for the baby to get to know this lady too, daytime visits only until then?

My DS was doing so from about nine months old and it was a nice little break after being in charge for so long and not having my own time.

wordfactory Tue 29-Jan-13 15:56:42

mosman of course the OP will meet someone else!

But that man will not be this child's father.

Like it or lump it, the OP will have to facilitate a relationship between her DS and his father. So why not make it a positive experience? Why make stands and take decisions based upon hurt feelings?

Better to enter into an active discussion with her ex now. Talk about how to move forward...

shutthebloodydoor Tue 29-Jan-13 15:57:15

Wow a prime example of how mumsnet posts get twisted! its a fight to the bitter death on here sometimes. Really wish people would read posts rather than ' reading between the lines' or picking tiny things up and running with them when that wasnt even the point anyway!

VinegarTits Tue 29-Jan-13 15:59:29

what is an unusually privilaged position ? are you royality?

wordfactory Tue 29-Jan-13 16:00:45

Privileged position = this is at happened me and I simply cannot imagine anyhting different.

FanFuckingTastic Tue 29-Jan-13 16:01:03

I might add that my DS is seven now and views this set up as normal, he is a high achiever in school and generally a very settled little boy, considering his mum is disabled and so is his sister, in such a way that he gets a lot of difficult behaviour to deal with for one so young.

He loves his step mum, whom I get on with on the most part, has a lovely stepbrother, and another sibling, so it's like he has two families that love him, not just one.

He was never ever neglected or put at emotional risk just because he went to his dad's for weekends. In fact he thrived with many loving caregivers, I would say dad's involvement is actually a good thing, so many children have lost contact by the age of three, to foster a good relationship now with the promise of overnights by a certain stage would benefit the OP more than she is able to think about right now. (I understand being bitter btw, I was so angry)

Fact is, as a single parent, there have been times I haven't been able to care for my child. Health wise I have valued the support I have gotten from my son's father and other caregivers thus established on that side of the family, if I hadn't my kids would have been in foster care temporarily before now and I think that would be much more disruptive.

VinegarTits Tue 29-Jan-13 16:01:30

i think wordfactory has nailed it

VinegarTits Tue 29-Jan-13 16:02:53

and i dont mean your answer to my privilaged position grin

wordfactory Tue 29-Jan-13 16:03:37

fan you have summed up what I have been trying to get across.

Being a single parents makes you more vulnerable. One way to alleviate that is to nurture a close relationship between child and father (indeed child and any family member).

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 16:07:48

Being a single parent makes you more vulnerable, especially when, as is the case of the OP, the father of the child is unreliable. Pretending he is not and carrying on regardless would be total folly in the security stakes.

AnAirOfHope Tue 29-Jan-13 16:09:58

I think 4 months old is too young and its unreasonable to have ago at you for saying no.

If i was OW i would want my oh to help with his child and give the mother a break and to pay for his half of raising the child. To be flexible and supportive.

Also is he willing to commite to overnights every other weekend for the next 16 years? Taking time off work to care for a sick child and provide school holiday cover?

Right now its all new to him and i would be worried he wants to make a good impression with OW and has no idea how hard being a dad is. I would have to talk to him about what is best for the child and i would think few hours in day often and build upon that the older the child gets to overnights and full weekends at 3 yo.

If he is in uni whats to say that he will not get a job in a different part of the country after graudating?

Communication is the key to coparenting and its in the best intrest of the child to have a mum and a dad.

It hurts like hell the way he treated you but you need to bury it and treat him as the father of your child. What he does with his child when he is looking after him is up to him you cant stop him from introducing the child to his girlfriends or mates or giving the child to grandparents to look after on his contact time. Its out of your control.

TTTatty Tue 29-Jan-13 16:23:16

First post - eek!

My mum and dad split up when mum was pregnant with me, mum got together with a new partner and between them refused my dad access. (I appreciate the op is not completely refusing access but am giving my situation)
I am sure at the time they were doing what they thought was best, my dad, it would seem, was not that great in his treatment of her although, as far as I am aware, a good dad to my older brother.

As harsh as it may sound my dads treatment of my mum did not warrant him being refused access to me, I had no chance to build a relationship with him and that has caused irretrievable damage (we only met when I was 17)
In her doing so I feel she was selfish to with hold me from him. Although I am sad he was not a good husband he should have had equal opportunity to be a good parent.

I appreciate the op is very sad/angry/frustrated at the situation with her ex but children are not weapons to be used.

This is not about whether a 4mth old baby can stay overnight at their dads but rather the op controlling her ex with the only 'claim' she has left :-(
There is absolutely no reason to why the dad cannot take the baby to his new home.

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 29-Jan-13 16:30:23

In fairness it sounds like the OP has not been refusing access, she just doesn't want the baby to stay away overnight at 4 months old.

FanFuckingTastic Tue 29-Jan-13 16:37:11

Has he been unreliable in the area of contact?

Men can be absolute shites with regards to their romantic lives and still be really great dad's.

He was a dick for leaving her for getting pregnant, but I guess that he attended the birth and has been wanting contact, he has a home and is studying to get a job I guess? He's not been violent? He hasn't lied to her about anything?

It's a shitty thing to do, break up a marriage, but again that doesn't have much bearing on his ability as a dad to his own child? I think the label unreliable is a bit hasty really.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 29-Jan-13 16:37:31

Seenenough - or to spend any time at Dad's house.

Emilythornesbff Tue 29-Jan-13 16:40:01

lovetomoan where's the "like" button?

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 29-Jan-13 16:54:59

This is not about whether a 4mth old baby can stay overnight at their dads but rather the op controlling her ex with the only 'claim' she has left

I completely agree Tatty. Having read some of the threads on here, that doesn't seem that unusual when there is a breakdown in a relationship. All under the guise of course that Mum is doing what is best for the baby and that Dad is the devil incarnate for even considering he should be allowed to spend time caring for and comforting their child. Because only Mum is capable of doing that, isn't she? hmm

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 17:16:09

And what of the mothers state of mind?

If the mother - at the moment cannot cope with the idea of her baby sleeping with them - should she be protected in anyway and treated gently so she can primariy cope with her baby first - then come round to this idea a little bit later?

Or does it not matter if she is pushed and pushed and pushed and then possibly has a nervous break down or bonding issues?

I guess then she would become a " crazy ex" would she - once she was finally broken?

KC225 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:21:12

Well said eliza

TTTatty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:26:01

It is not just a refusal to let the baby go overnight but, as said in the OP although since backtracked, allowing the baby's dad to only have contact with their baby at OPs house. Forgive me but I do not think the OP will suffer a nervous break down or bonding issues by the baby going to their other parent for a day. If she really feels this may be the case then seeking counselling would be advisable.
The father needs time to bond too and should be able to do this in the comfort of his own home just as the OP is doing.

TTTatty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:27:05

Oh and don't wish to be pedantic but it is THEIR baby not her baby.

mayorquimby Tue 29-Jan-13 17:32:42

"And what of the mothers state of mind? "

kind of goes against the moral high-ground of not allowing over nights purely on the interests of the child if the actual motivation is all about the mother.

You could just as easily say what about the fathers state of mind having his relationship with his child dictated and controlled by a bitter ex?
But you'd be greeted with "it's not about the father it's about the baby" and "she's not controlling or dictating, she's looking out for her child."

There are just as likely to be reprecussions and bonding issues for the father being denied access as there would be the mother allowing (allowing ffs, as though she alone owns the child) overnight visits

gordyslovesheep Tue 29-Jan-13 17:33:48

Oh I said I wouldn't but ...(being VERY CLEAR I am not being mean to the OP but making a wider observation)

The mothers state of mind is a separate issue - not an excuse to stop or control access - it broke me for them to spend time with the woman who helped break up my marriage - I was ill with stress, on anti D's etc, but I wouldn't have dreamed of stopping them seeing him - even when that meant seeing them.

Sophiathesnowfairy Tue 29-Jan-13 17:36:50

What ever you do your child deserves two parents who love it. I get the impression that the concern of theOP is more the new relationship rather than the age.

4 month is young to be away over night but to enable DCs to feel secure they need to be routinely in both homes.

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 17:37:04

I guess it depends on who the child spends the time with - if its mother is reduced to a blubbering miserable wreck becasuse the child is being forced away from her - then no - i dont think its in the best interests of the child.

especially if she is also coping - alone - without a partner to support her. her ex dp at least has a partner to support him?

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 17:38:51

how old were your children gordy?

gordyslovesheep Tue 29-Jan-13 17:40:29

6,4 and 6 months Eliza - all planned and much wanted by both of us - I was on unpaid Maternity leave - I had to sell our home and return to work early - my state of mind was horrible - but he never stopped loving his kids - just me

mayorquimby Tue 29-Jan-13 17:42:01

So a fathers access should be restricted and the childs relationship with the father hindered because the mother can't cope with being away from the child and that serves the best interest of the child?

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 29-Jan-13 17:43:25

As a single mother to my first child I would have struggled to let my DD out of my sight in the first year, so I'm with Eliza on this one. Thankfully my DD's father never pressured me to hand her over for anything other than day contact until we both felt she was ready.

Also, my DH is a lovely man, but would be hopeless with a small baby such as a 4 month old, and when he and his previous wife broke up soon after the birth of their 3rd child he didn't have his youngest to stay until she was 18 months old. He readily admits it would not have been good for the baby (or the state of mind of her mother) for her to stay over with him, as he struggled to settle her and he knew she would miss her mother terribly.

DH has a fabulous relationship with all of his children, and is no less close because of the lack of early overnight stays. He had plenty of day contact, and now the children are happy to stay with us or their mother. I wonder how many who are so quick to judge have been in this situation themselves?

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 17:45:01

you must be very strong gordy - but you musnt class everyone else in the same bracket as yourself.

everyone reacts to things differently - and this man in my opinion has to back off and let this lady recover not only from her ordeal with him but also from the VERY recent birth of her FIRST EVER CHILD.

she has already stated she has been in tears from replies and clearly isnt in a good state of mind.

i dont see what point it is to keep driving home the point that because you were able to cope with something she should also.

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 17:46:55

May -

for the moment YES.

If I was the DP here my paramount concern would be to not upset this woman any further and give her some respect.

Then I would ask for access - somewhere neutral for a few hours every week. Once things had calmed down and I started to build up a relationship with the child - in a gentle manner - then things would naturally progress.

mayorquimby Tue 29-Jan-13 17:49:41

we'll just have to agree to disagree so
to me it seems very controlling and motivated solely out of self-interest and selfishness.
Threads like this terrify me as a future father.

TTTatty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:54:34

I am sure posts would be supportive about how difficult handing the baby over is (I have also been in the position with slightly older - one year old - child going to their dads) but it is frustrating when the mothers state of mind is taken into account when it should be in the best interest of the baby.

I feel it would be more helpful to support the OP in coming to terms with the situation instead of what seems to be support for her to continue to feel awful.

There are many good points to the baby going to their dads, a break for mum for a start :-)

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 18:01:18

I am sure she will be ready for a break when the situation has calmed down and her DP isnt trying to get a four month old over night!

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 18:03:01

What if the mother doesn't want a break? Not all new mothers need or want a break from their baby.

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 18:03:57

This reminds me of a situation where a dear friend lost someone very very close to them - literally out of the blue and well wishers were coming round to give condolensces but were also saying over and over

" so what are you going to do now".

She had just had a major blow to her life and couldnt think about the next minuet let alone the future -the future at THAT TIME was simply getting up and trying to get through the next hour, day etc...

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 18:10:29

"but it is frustrating when the mothers state of mind is taken into account when it should be in the best interest of the baby."

The interest of the baby is to stay with its primary care giver as much as possible. There is no, I repeat no, need for the baby to see his/her father at such a young age. If the father wants to see the baby (fair enough), it should be in the presence of the mother.

sauvignonismydrug Tue 29-Jan-13 18:12:28

When my newborn, and severely disabled, son was 10 weeks old my exh walked out on us. My situation was different in that we also had a 3 yr old DD and we had been given 90% odds of my son dying before he was 2. The general feeling of my exh going at this dreadful time was that he was a complete cock.
A few months later he moved on the next road to me in a 'house share' with a close female friend from work (they are now married and expecting their 2nd child together, not that I care any more as I am also remarried). In order to look after my son at home I had to have a huge amount of training. My ex did this too, this was new ground for both of us. I was technically the resident parent, my dd lived with me, I had stay in the home and all my sons equipment was delivered to my address. But not once did I think that my son should miss out on time with his knob of a father. I moved heaven and earth with the primary care trust to get the same equipment installed at his home.
I am so glad I did. My son is no longer with me but I know that I did not deprive him of any of his rightful time with his daddy and, even though I did not behave amazingly myself at that time towards the ex, I know I did the right thing by my son.

TTTatty Tue 29-Jan-13 18:14:45

Elizaregina - I have had that - the day after my husband was killed in a road accident (second husband) a friend asked 'how long do you think it will be till you are over this?' Helpful - not!

However if I have got my maths right the OP split up 10mths ago - what has not long happened is his new relationship, which the OP is very unhappy about but this does not give her the right to dictate.

I also the feel the 'overnight' is a red herring - I expect the dad would be happy for the moment taking baby for days but this has not been offered to him.

cricketballs Tue 29-Jan-13 18:16:10

Why Bonsoir? You are sounding deranged now with that latest statement that a father would only see his child in the presence of the mother...

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 29-Jan-13 18:18:50

FGS Bonsoir, so some Mum's don't need a break; that means Dad shouldn't be allowed to parent until she does?!

Where there are two willing and capable parents, a baby deserves to have both those parents involved in its life from day one. Two parents who it nows will love it, care for it and provide comfort. Surely the best way for the baby to learn that and to have a strong relationship with both parents is for each parent to be given the chance to actually parent. Something Dad isn't being allowed to do without severe restrictions because Mum is finding it difficult to let go.

Why should Mum's feelings be taken into account so much when Dad's are irrelevant? Whenever anyone mentions the Dad's feelings, the response is that he should think of the baby, yet the same doesn't seem to apply to Mum's feelings. Hypocritical, much.

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 18:19:10

The baby is 17 weeks old and the OP found out when the baby was 5 weeks old that her DS' father was in a relationship with someone else. This story is only 12 weeks old, and she is mother to a newborn. Give her a break.

Bonsoir Tue 29-Jan-13 18:20:19

I think the father in this case has forfeited any expectation of being an equal parent by his very selfish behaviour.

elizaregina Tue 29-Jan-13 18:21:49

the mums feelings should be taken into account because the dad shat on her. as an adult he has to therefore live with the tough shit of his actions.

once he has backed off - given this woman some respect and peace - then they can more forward.

TTTatty Tue 29-Jan-13 18:22:49

I don't agree Bonsoir (funny that!) babies bond from a young age and that bonding should take place with both their parents whenever possible.

Caring for a young baby helps you feel connected to that baby and having both parents feel connected to you is surely in your very best interest?